This whole Johan Santana debacle has had me twisted in knots for days. Yes, I'd love for the Yanks to get him, but not if getting him means taking a step back on the internal rebuilding path. Those goals are obviously at odds, so you have to take an honest look and see just how far you're willing to. The rumors have been flying, and this morning I had to take a step back and take a look at what's transpired thus far.
The best way to describe the situation that I could come up with is an analogy. A real estate analogy.
Let's say you're in the market for a house. You drive around town and finally find a great house in a perfect location. It's got everything you need, it's huge. In its heyday it was the best house in town, the only problem is that the house is going to need a ton of work after you buy it. Let's say the asking price is $1,000,000. You can afford the asking price, but you're going to have to put twice that much into the house to make it livable.
You call the real estate agent and put an offer in at say $800,000. A fair price, considering the amount of money you're going to have to put into it. The real estate agent says they already have a competing offer of $600,000. "So what's the problem?" you ask. "The seller likes the $600,000 offer better." She replies.
You go home that night, sit down with your wife and talk about just how great the house is. You spend all night going back and forth, trying to figure out if you should top your own offer. It doesn't make sense, but the house really is perfect so you decide, "OK, we'll just blow their doors off."
The next morning you go back to the real estate agent and say, "We're going to meet the asking price, $1,000,000." The real estate agent goes to the seller, then gets back to you, "The asking price is now $1,500,000." You and your wife have had it at this point. You tell the real estate agent $1,000,000 is your final offer. She takes it to the seller again, his response, "Tell them if they don't offer $1,500,000 we're going to accept the original $600,000 offer from the other buyer."
That's where the Yankees stand right now. Their first offer (Melky, Kennedy, Tabata) was better than any offer the Sox have made. Their latest offer (Melky, Hughes, B-Level prospect) is leaps and bounds ahead of anything the Sox have offered. For some reason, the Twins are insistent upon Hughes, Kennedy and Melky. To put this into relative terms, Hughes, Kennedy and Melky is equal to if not greater than Buchholz, Lester and Ellsbury. Hughes and Buchholz are on par, Kennedy is much better than Lester, Ellsbury's hype is better but on the whole, he and Melky are probably equals (Ellsbury has more speed, Melky has more power, Ellsbury probably covers more ground in the outfield, Melky has a better arm.)
So what do you do? If you're the couple trying to buy the house, you start looking again. If you're the Yankees, you have to bow out. In both cases, you aren't dealing with sane individuals. Bidding against yourself is never a good situation to be in. I fully believe the Sox were only in this debate to drive the price up for the Yankees, they never, ever, expected to get Santana for the garbage offer they threw out there. Minnesota is just determined to rape the Yankees or not deal with them at all.
Walk away. Just walk away.