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MLB Rumors: Twins Reduce Asking Price For Johan Santana

Today's New York Times chimes in with some post-Christmas news about Johan Santana.  In the midst of reporting the Yankees' 2007 luxury tax payment, Murray Chass reports the Twins have reduced their asking price from Phil Hughes/Melky Cabrera/Ian Kennedy to Hughes/Cabrera and Jeff Marquez.

I am not inclined to jump the conclusion that the deal hinged on the inclusion of Marquez.  After covering this everyday for a month, the sticking point was the inclusion of Phil Hughes.  Yanks' GM Brian Cashman does not want to deal him while Hank Steinbrenner wants the splash that would come from a Santana acquistion.  How this tug-of-war plays out is more important that the inclusion of Jeff Marquez.

And if the Yankees are really holding out because of Jeff Marquez (or Alberto Gonzalez or Kevin Whelan or...), then the team is playing with fire.  The Red Sox package of four players is better than the two that headline the Yankees' deal and losing Santana to the Red Sox will hasten GM Brian Cashman's departure from the Bronx.

With Hank Steinbrenner looking as if he is setting the tone for his tyran..tenure, making the Boss look bad over a middling prospect is a sure fire way into his bad graces.  Imagine Santana beating the Yankees four or five times during the regular season.


If you were Yankees' GM Brian Cashman, would you allow Jeff Marquez to prevent the acquisition of Johan Santana?

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