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MLB Rumors: The Mets' Case For Johan Santana Strengthens

Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune chimes in on the Johan Santana drama.  After seeing the Twins' big board and the names of AAA OFers Denard Span and Jason Pridie, he asks GM Bill Smith about getting a CF in a Santana trade.  He is answered this way, ""As I said, we have one big issue.  If we can resolve that, maybe we'll know where we stand there [center field] and with our pitching."

This doesn't break too much new ground, but it does strongly suggest that the Twins want a CF and a starting pitcher in return.  This would make any rumored deals without those components unlikely, and the Red Sox in a tought spot as both those pieces are not contained in the same package.  Jon Lester is in one offer, and Jacoby Ellsbury is in another.

Interestingly, Mr. Reusse names three centerfielders - Melky Cabrera of the New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox and Carlos Gomez of the New York Mets.  There is no mention of the Seattle Mariners' Adam Jones.  Does this mean he was given unreported indications that the Mariners are not in the game?

Regardless, the inclusion of a Mets player keeps the sneaking suspicion that Johan Santana will be dealt to the Mets alive.  Given it makes sense from a competitive point-of-view for the Twins to send Johan to the NL, I will not dismiss it.

Yesterday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote the Yankees are growing increasingly adamant about retaining SP Phil Hughes.  If true, then the Yankees are out.  This places the Twins in a tough spot as they clearly do not like the packages being offered by the Red Sox and the Red Sox do not appear to be willing to rejigger their offers to include Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester in the same package.  But it does help the Mets.

Despite risking the Mets dominating the backpages in New York, the Yankees would be shunting Santana into the NL and gaining the same competitive advantage the Twins would also receive.  The team better right about Phil Hughes, though, because the Red Sox also benefit and are currently much stronger in the pitching department than the Yankees.