Yesterday the Minnesota Twins extended 1B Justin Morneau for six years and $80MM and RF Michael Cuddyer for three seasons plus a team option on a 4th for a total of $35MM. I couldn't help thinking these moves were made to soften the blow of a Johan Santana trade.
These financial commitments demonstrate the team is committed to a core of "veteran" players the fans can identify as their team. Jerseys can be bought without fear that the player will be gone in a season or two. Marketing efforts can build around the same group of players for several seasons.
After those considerations, I couldn't help seeing that the money was close to what it may take to sign Johna Santana to an extension and begin asking why sign a firstbaseman and league average RF should get that but not a CY Young lefthander.
Could the Twins realize that giving that money to a pitcher is too risky? Could the Twins be ripping a page from fantasy baseball planning where fantasy teams do not extend the contracts on their pitchers because their future performance is so unpredictable?La Velle E. Neal III blogs he has been told next week is "a big week in terms of determining if and where Santana will be dealt." This time Lucy is going to let Charlie Brown kick the football, right?
In New York Yankees news, Kevin Davidoff" of Newsday reports Yankees' Brian Cashman is against dealing the team's young players for Johan Santana. The paper quotes Cashman saying, "My strong recommendation is that we stay with our young pitching staff, keep it in house. I'm married to that process. I want to see that through. I hope our ownership and fans can sit through what might be some growing pains."
So like a child who doesn't like the answer one parent gave, Twins GM Bill Smith is going to have to get Hank Steinbrenner to give him the one he wants.