What Do I Know?

Here’s what I’d like to know: Since when are the New York Yankees in any position to play hardball with the Twins? Given the pitching situation in New York, and given the fact that this is a team that is now in the (for them) desperate position of playing second-fiddle to the Red Sox, would you not think that the Twins should have all the leverage in a deal for Johan Santana?

You have to imagine that the new Yankee regime would be willing to pull out all the stops to get Santana, and if they’re not, they for damn sure should be, or fuck ’em.

There are all sorts of reasons to be wary about any deal with either New York or Boston. Because of the high profiles of the two east coast Goliaths, their prospects tend to be over-hyped in comparison to those of almost any other team. What do you really know about Phil Hughes or Jacoby Ellsbury? Or how about Melky Cabrera?

My guess is probably not enough. Ellsbury was dynamite in the postseason, and we heard the Hughes hype all last season. But what sort of players are they? Relatively young players, which means relatively unproven players. Based on his minor league numbers, Hughes looks like he could become a dominant pitcher. He’s a big kid, long and lean. I like him, but as with any 21-year-old pitcher I’d be concerned about injuries, at least until I get more of a chance to watch him pitch.

I’ll admit that Ellsbury is the guy I’d most like to see included in a deal with the Red Sox, but that’s based almost entirely on his performance in the playoffs. The guy is a burner, seems to know how to get on base, and he looks like a more-than-solid outfielder. Despite the power he flashed in the postseason, however, there isn’t much in his minor league record to indicate he’s going to be a reliable home run threat. He’s also 24 years old.

I don’t want Melky Cabrera, I know that much. And I don’t want Coco Crisp.

The main virtues of the other guys whose names have been floating around is that they are –at least for the time being– cheap. And, of course, they have potential. It would be nice, however, if the Twins could get at least one guy included in a Santana package who is something of a proven commodity.

That may not happen. Nothing may happen. And I’d certainly rather see nothing happen than watch the Twins knuckle under to Hank Steinbrenner’s demands. I hope that won’t happen, and I don’t think that will happen. I’m pretty sure Bill Smith knows he’s in the driver’s seat.

The dream scenario, I think, would be for the Mets to swoop in and steal some thunder from both the Yankees and the Sox, but for that to happen I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to be willing to cough up Jose Reyes.

That’s a deal I’d love to see happen.

As far as the Tampa Bay trade, I’ll just say I like it just fine, even if the Twins are now back out there trying to convince somebody to give them a pitcher with Garza’s potential. In the meantime, I’ll take Delmon Young and his purported baggage, and I’ll wager that before Torii’s three years into his contract with the Angels Bill Smith is going to look like a genius. It’s not easy for me to forget all those years I watched Torii flailing at fastballs in the dirt and up in his eyes, and, defensive magnificence aside, he was a long time delivering on his promise. The money the Angels threw at him is insane.

All the same, I’ll miss Hunter. He was a good guy, always accessible and good for a quote. I don’t know that I buy the notion that he was some sort of clubhouse leader, but I do know that with both Hunter and Santana gone, Minnesota’s clubhouse will have a huge charisma void.

And, finally, speaking of a charisma void: what the hell is up with Carlos Silva? I haven’t even heard much in the way of rumors surrounding The Jackal.