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MLB Rumors: Johan Santana, Erik Bedard, Hideki Matsui

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The baseball news is slow this Saturday morning with the two Minnesota papers showing nothing at 7:40 AM EST and the San Francisco ones dominated by Barry Bonds trial coverage. Only the Boston and New York ones have information up about Johan Santana, Erik Bedard and Hideki Matsui.

Tom Massarotti at the Boston Herald writes the Boston Red Sox remain tight-lipped about any negotiations with the Twins over Johan Santana and do not appear willing to increase any of their offers to include two of the three marquee prospects - Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. As long as the Red Sox do not budge from their position, other teams like the New York Mets and Yankees will continue to be rumored to be involved.

This morning's NY Daily News leads one of its Yankees' article with this sentence:

While Hank Steinbrenner acknowledges that he hasn't slammed the door on a potential blockbuster deal for Johan Santana...

Granted beginning a sentence with "while" is the same as saying "however", I am only concerned about the creep of the Yankees softening the ultimatum Hank gave last Monday. To make Hank less plausible he claims Melky Cabrera is as close to untouchable as any Yankees can get. Who the f..., um, Who can really take anything he takes seriously now?

Mr. Massarotti also reports that sources continue to say the Orioles are intent on dealing Erik Bedard out of the AL East. This supports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark's statement from his chat yesterday to ignore any Bedard trade rumor that has him going to an AL East club. Sorry Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays fans.

The NY Daily News also writes the rumors of a Hideki Matsui trade to the San Francisco Giants are still in the feeler stage as Matsui's agent has not been contacted about waiving Matsui's no-trade clause. The players rumored to be coming back are pitchers Noah Lowry and Jonathan Sanchez.

I like Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon, but moving Matsui's bat to get either full-time ABs will weaken the team's offense. However, that doesn't appear to be a consideration in George King's article this morning. He says Matsui "faces dimished playing time next year" with Damon in LF, Cabrera in center and Jason Giambi at DH. Matsui is still the best overall player of that lot.