Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Driving a Hard Bargain

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The story making the rounds here is that when the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy from the Yankees, in addition to Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera, the Yankees said no. So the Twins substituted two high-ceiling minor-league prospects in Kennedy's place. The Yankees may have agreed to one, but not two, and that’s when the talks died.

Now, according to SI.com, the Red Sox believe they are close to a deal, and are making an “improved” offer for Johan Santana. The Twins asked that Boston present its best deal that revolves around left-handed pitcher Jon Lester. We’ll see what the offer turns out to be. The feeling in the press room is that if Boston relents in its refusal to package Jacoby Ellsbury and Lester, a deal will be done pretty quick.

Well, “pretty quick” is a relative term. Once the teams reach an understanding, the Red Sox would have to negotiate a contract with Santana. But his demands are pretty well known, so the Sox must have already determined that they can meet an asking price of around $24 million.

-- Phil Miller

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