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MLB Rumors: The Twins Want Four Players For Johan Santana?

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the New York Mets are still involved in the Johan Santana discussions. With this morning's Daily News reporting the Mets are kicking the tires on Jon Leiber as a path towards improving the team's startin rotation, this should come as no surprise.

Mr. Stark relays the surprise of baseball people that the Mets remain in contention given the top shelf of prospects the team can offer are clearly 4th amongst the four teams still in contention. The Red Sox have Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie on the table. The Yankees have Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera, and the Seattle Mariners have Adam Jones and Brandon Morrow to offer.

The four-player package made by the Mets is headed by Carlos Gomez and two of the team's three best pitching prospects, Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey, with another unnamed prospect as the fourth piece. Stark's source says the Twins countered with all three of the pitchers and 19-year-old AA OF Fernando Martinez.

The Yankees latest offer was Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez and an unnamed 4th prospect. The Red Sox are reported to be unmovimg on its four-player offer of Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Lowrie and SP Justin Masterson.

This leads one to conclude the current package the Twins are asking is a four-player one, and, if the Yankees and Mets packages are correct, one that includes four players under the Twins control for several years at current salaries near the minimum.

This explains why the Red Sox package has not been accepted. In the Lester offer, there are four players, but CF Coco Crisp is under contract for just two seasons and at a cost of $10+MM. Additionally, the market for CF has dried-up and closed off the possibility of flipping Crisp for a couple of prospects. The Ellsbury offer contains just three prospects.

If the Twins will not move off a four-player package, then Mr. Stark is right. The marquee trade of the 2007-08 off-season won't get done for several weeks.