All signs are pointing to Johan Santana getting traded this offseason. But a variety of factors might prevent the Twins from being able to get as good a deal as they would like in return.
Do I think Johan Santana will get traded this offseason?
But that is just a gut feeling based on recent conversations with Twins officials and others from around the game.
So far, the Twins seem to be in a fact-finding mode. They are learning which teams are interested, though as of Monday, they said they had yet to receive a specific offer.
They are canvassing their coaches and scouts for opinions on players from other organizations, preparing themselves for every scenario.
Since Santana can veto any trade, he likely will demand a contract extension of at least $120 million. At that price, only a few teams are in the running.
We keep hearing the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers. Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner told the Associated Press on Monday that his team has started talking with the Twins about a Santana trade, saying, "It's preliminary right now."
This is a crucial phase. The Twins expect to know whether they will trade Santana by the end of the winter meetings, which run Dec. 3-6.
Remember: They don't have to trade him now. Publicly, they say they haven't given up hope of signing him beyond 2008.
No matter how unlikely that sounds, they still can wait to move him until the July 31 trade deadline.
I think the trade will happen soon. But it's going to take some real guts because the offers probably are not going to be as impressive as Twins fans hope.
Other trades have spoiled them.
If the Twins could get Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano for A.J. Pierzynski -- an above-average catcher -- what might they get for Santana?
He has two Cy Young Awards. He never has had a serious arm injury. And he doesn't turn 30 until March 2009.
But this isn't that simple because he is eligible for free agency after next season.
Think about what the Twins are really offering.
Santana, yes, but for only one season, only about 34 starts. That, plus the exclusive right to pay him that bulky contract extension.
How much is that worth to teams?
|Chicago Cubs - M. Garza||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - W. Rodriguez|
|Detroit - M. Scherzer||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - C. Kluber|
|NY Yankees - P. Hughes||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - M. Gonzalez|
|Tampa Bay - A. Cobb||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - R. Ortiz|
|Cincinnati - M. Leake||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - J. Niese|
|Philadelphia - T. Cloyd||6:10 PM|
|Miami - J. Fernandez|
|Minnesota - M. Pelfrey||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - T. Hudson|
|Oakland - D. Straily||7:05 PM|
|Texas - Y. Darvish|
|Los Angeles - Z. Greinke||7:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - H. Burgos|
|Boston - F. Doubront||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - J. Quintana|
|Kansas City - W. Davis||7:10 PM|
|Houston - B. Norris|
|Arizona - I. Kennedy||7:40 PM|
|Colorado - J. Chacin|
|Seattle - A. Harang||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - J. Williams|
|St. Louis - A. Wainwright||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - E. Volquez|
|Washington - S. Strasburg||9:15 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Cain|
|Los Angeles||9:00 PM|