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MLB Rumors: The Price Of Johan Santana About To Plummet?

Joe Christensen says what has become increasingly clear outside the Minnesota are.  The Twins are not going to get what they demand for one year's worth of Johan Santana plus the the right to bid against themselves to pay him one of the largest contracts ever signed by a starting pitcher in the history of the sport.

Per Mr. Christensen's sources, the New York Mets have changed their offer to one much more attractive in terms of prospect upside.  The latest offer is now led by the Mets' top pitching prospect, 19-year-old Deolis Guerra, along with AAA center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Kevin Mulvey (AA) and Phil Humber (AAA).  The Twins in their continuing efforts to fly too close to the sun have asked for 19-year-old AA OF Fernando Martinez to be added.

In New York, Peter Botte reports the Yankees may give-up on acquiring Johna Santana.  The increasingly capricious Hank Steinbrenner is now leaning against the deal as his younger brother Hal and GM Brian Cashman appear to wearing him down with their financial arguments.  He says,

"But what it comes down to right now is giving up a lot (in a trade) and then having to do the big contract, as well. If (Santana) was just a free agent, we could just go ahead and do it. There's a big difference this way. We have to sign him as if he's a free agent, plus you have to give up major talent. That's a tall order."

I couldn't agree with that assessment any more than I already do.  Big Brother Hank also reiterates that rookie sensation Joba Chamberlain will be in the starting rotation. He does not want that type of talent wasted in middle relief.

If the Yankees bow out, the market for Santana changes abruptly.  This would leave the Twins and GM Bill Smith as the losers in the game of chicken they have played this winter.  The question is how abruptly.  Recall the winter of 2001-02.  Yankees' 1B Tino Martinez was asking for $40+MM from the Yankees.  The Yanks dropped out of the bidding and Tino ended-up signing for $20MM less.

I don't think the market price will drop that precipitiously for the Twins, but it will go down.