Thursday, November 29, 2007

Santana YES -- Jacoby - NO!

Twins Reportedly Request Ellsbury

Inclusion in Any Deal for Santana

Sox in Aggressive Pursuit

By Michael Silverman -- Red Sox Notebook -- Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Boston Herald Sports Reporter

The Red Sox [team stats] are actively engaged in trade talks with the Minnesota Twins about Johan Santana and plan to aggressively pursue the two-time Cy Young Award winner, a baseball source said yesterday.

However, finding the right blend of prospects and major league talent that will satisfy the Twins and not deforest the Red Sox farm system, then working out a five- or six-year contract extension for Santana in the neighborhood of $120 million-$150 million, remains a tall order.

Although no one in the system has been deemed as an “untouchable,” the Red Sox are loathe to part with rookie center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Instead, they would prefer to package Coco Crisp [stats] in a deal with the Twins, who, in addition to Ellsbury, have asked for starter Clay Buchholz and other real prospects. The Sox would like the Twins to accept a proven major league center fielder, Crisp, to help fill the hole left behind in Minnesota when free agent Torii Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Twins’ talks with other clubs, including the New York Yankees and Mets, are expected to pick up steam in in advance of next week’s winter meetings.

Either Way, Red Sox OK

By Rob Bradford -- Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boston Herald Sports Reporter

Have been around the Red Sox since interning for New England Sports Network during the Butch Hobson managerial years, stopping at such media outlets as The Salem News, The Gloucester Daily Times, The Lowell Sun, and, most recently, The Eagle-Tribune Publishing Co. Along the way wrote the book Chasing Steinbrenner, which focuses on the front offices of the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays throughout the 2003 season.

It could still happen, but if it doesn’t the Red Sox [team stats] are ready.

Sources last night suggested that the Sox were still in the running for Minnesota pitcher Johan Santana, with the team waiting to see if its combination of players and money can satisfy both the Minnesota Twins and the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

The challenges facing the Sox as they continue to work on a trade for the left-handed ace:

1. Not giving up center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

2. Convincing the Twins that a package involving Coco Crisp is better than one involving Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera.

3. Coming up with an extension for Santana comparable to a contract he might receive as a free agent if he reaches the market after next season, which would allow for the left-hander to waive his no-trade clause.

Even though, as one major league executive said last night, “The Twins are in a bind. They have to trade Santana,” and the Red Sox remain as one of a handful of teams with the prospects and financial resources to get the job done, completing a deal will be one of the current Sox regime’s biggest challenges to date.

If, however, that challenge can’t be met, falling back on the arms of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester [stats], whose names have been thrown around in the Santana rumors, is a pretty good security blanket, judging by offseason reports.

Lester was at Fenway Park [map] yesterday to collect the Tony Conigliaro Award, presented by the Boston Baseball Writers’ Association to a major leaguer who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of the former Sox outfielder.

Santana might be on the horizon, but until a deal is done both Buchholz and Lester appear fit for potential spots in the rotation.

“I don’t even worry about it,” said Lester of his name popping up in trade talks. “If that happens it’s something that you have to deal with at that point. Most of the time it’s just speculation. It’s just hearsay that your name is involved. Until Theo (Epstein) calls me and says, ‘Hey, you’re no longer a Red Sox,’ we’ll worry about it then. But I want to be a part of this organization as long as I can, and hopefull I will be.”

Lester, who has been working out in Atlanta while moving into a new home, joined Buchholz and a smattering of other pitchers in coming to Fenway to undergo physicals. Buchholz, who was shut down in September because of a weakened pitching shoulder, displayed significant improvement in his tests since leaving for Texas at the end of the regular season. He has been working out, along with pitching prospect Michael Bowden, at a Dr. James Andrews-sponsored facility in Pensacola, Fla.

“There have been gains from a physical standpoint,” said pitching coach John Farrell of Buchholz. “In retrospect, looking back to what did take place, it was certainly the right decision to deactivate him, for lack of a better term, at the time. He is making progress. He’s still got some work to do, particularly as we project 180-185 innings for him next year. There’s still some work to be done to build that foundation, to endure that load.”

Buchholz will return to Pensacola for a few more weeks before coming back to town for the organization’s rookie development program in January.

For Lester, the opportunity to come into camp in February without the lingering effects of six months of cancer treatments will be a welcome opportunity. The Sox starter in the World Series clincher is up to 218 pounds after weighing in at 200 for spring training.


Yes to Santana -- but NO to sending Jacoby to the Twins! No way! Coco is the odd man out. Ellsbury is the star of the future. Do not mortgage the future Star for Santana. Crip and "other pitching prospects" must be the deal or NO DEAL! Period --- end of conversation.

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