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November 29, 2007
JIM DONALDSON: Make the deal
Hard to believe that the Red Sox could get Johan Santana without giving up either Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury, as was speculated Thursday by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but, if that's possible, then what are the Sox waiting for?
The names being floated in Minnesota that the Twins supposedly want in exchange for their two-time Cy Young Award winner are center fielder Coco Crisp, left-handed pitcher Jon Lester, and highly-promising, minor-league prospects Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie.
If that's truly the case, then Theo Epstein already should have made the deal.
Having the left-handed Santana join the should-have-been Cy Young winner, and postseason pitching hero, Josh Beckett at the top of the rotation would all but guarantee the Sox a second straight A.L. East crown, assuming those two avoid arm problems. Adding Santana would drop Daisuke Matsuzaka, who almost certainly will be an even better pitcher next season than he was this year, to No. 3 starter. That leaves veterans Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield to vie with the highly-promising Buchholz for the remaining two starting spots. All that, plus the best closer in baseball, Jonathan Papelbon, coming out of the bullpen.
With Ellsbury replacing Crisp in center field, and every other position player -- plus DH David Ortiz -- returning, the Sox with Santana could leave even the Yankees looking like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Ah, yes, the Yankees . . .
New York GM Brian Cashman has got to be burning the phone lines to the Twin Cities, offering whatever it takes to get Santana -- if for no other reason than to keep him away from the Red Sox.
Which is why, if I'm the Twins, I'm thinking I could pry Buchholz away from Boston.
We'll see how it plays out.
But, if the Sox can get Santana without giving up either Ellsbury (whom I'd consider close to untouchable) or Buchholz, it's a deal that seems almost too good to be true.
As for the prospects the Sox would have to give up...the 23-year Lowrie hit .300, with 5 homers, in 40 games after being called up from Portland to play shortstop for Triple-A Pawtucket...The 6-5, 245-pound Masterson was 4-3 in 10 starts for Double-A Portland this summer while striking out 59 batters in 58 innings.
But they're just prospects. Santana is a proven star.
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 7:37 PM | Permalink
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Report has Sox leading in Santana sweepstakes
Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today that the Red Sox are the front-runners in the competition to obtain Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins. According to Walters, the Sox would part with center fielder Coco Crisp, pitcher Jon Lester, minor league pitcher Justin Masterson and minor league shortstop Jed Lowrie.
Click here to read Walters' column, which is vague on sources.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:26 PM | Permalink
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