According to La Velle E. Neal III, there was no news on the Johan Santana trade front. While the list of suitors is down to the Mets and Red Sox, the Twins still expect to hear from the Yankees before Johan is finally dealt.
Yesterday morning on "Baseball This Morning with Mark Patrick and Buck Martinez", I heard an interesting proposal for a three team trade that would bring Johan Santana to the Yankees. While the hosts were not familar with the third team's prospects, I have more familiarity with them so I thought it was a great call-in trade proposal.
Who is the third team and why was it a great proposal? The team was the San Diego Padres, and the great proposal built on the recent statements from Padres' GM Kevin Towers on his quest for a corner outfielder. The proposal involved the Padres acquriing Hideki Matsui from the Yankees, the Yankees getting Johan Santana and the Twins getting a combination of players/prospects from the Yankees and Padres.
The issues is which two Padres prospects/players go to the Twins for Matsui and which two players/prospects go from the Yankees to the Twins for Santana. Given reports that 2B Matt Antonelli is going to be tried in CF by the Padres, he makes a good option to headline the Padres package. With OBP skills that match the Red Sox' Jacoby Ellsbury, he makes a good alternative.
With Matsui in the fold, OF Scott Hairston would have no where to play. He would make an excellent second player to include. He'd bring double-digit HR power off the bench for the Twins and makes a much more threatening option at DH/LF against left-handers than the embarassment of poverty the Twins used last season.
From New York, the Twins would no longer need Melky Cabrera as Antonelli and Hairston fill the roles of top prospect and 0-3 year major league player. That leaves the Yankees providing the pitching the Twins desire. Phil Hughes fills that role. However, with the Padres providing two of the four requested players, the Yanks need only add that 4th player. A bullpen arm like Russ Ohlendorf or Kevin Whelan seems reasonable. Maybe even AAA SS Alberto Gonzalez if the Twins want to restock their upper minors in anticipation of 2009 when no-hit SS Adam Everett will be a free agent.
In summary, the deal looks like this. The Twins deal Johan Santana for Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes and Kevin Whelan. The team flips Matsui for Matt Antonelli and Scott Hairston. This appears to be a win/win/win with the possible expection of that 4th player going to San Diego instead of Minnesota.
For an interesting look back at the Chuck Knoblach trade in 1998, read Joe Christensen's blog post.