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It appears as though the Minnesota Twins have pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal, surprisingly though, Johan Santana was not involved. The Twins are on the verge of sending Matt Garza to the D-Rays for Delmon Young. The deal is rumored to be a 6-player deal, the other players from the Twins to the Rays: Jason Bartlett (SS) and Juan Rincon (RP); from the Rays to the Twins: Brendan Harris (SS), Jason Pridie (CF).

For the Twins, Young is the power bat they've been lacking from the right side, Harris probably slides in as their starting short stop and Pridie is their CF of the future. Quite a haul. Garza is a stud and gives the D-Rays a nice trio at the front of their rotation along with Kazmir and Shields.

Does this trade mean the Twins are done dealing? I don't think so. This trade was for the future. Delmon Young is a talented young hitter, but he is not really an impact bat this year. Pridie had a great half-season in AAA last year, but it's debatable whether he's ready to play everyday at the big league level. Harris and Bartlett are pretty much a wash. The Twins basically traded pitching for offense, 2 or 3 years down the road. This leads me to believe that not only is Johan Santana still on the block, but so is Joe Nathan. The Twins aren't trying to win this year, they're building for the future.

So, what does this mean for the Yanks? Well, MLB Trade Rumors thinks this deal takes Melky off the table. The Twins don't need him anymore. The original report talked about the Twins still being in the market for a center fielder, and even mentions Aaron Rowand as a possibility for the Twins. For my purposes, I'm going to take Melky out of the deal. Here's the package I'd offer to the Twins, keeping in mind they're building for the future, not this year.

From the Yankees
From the Twins
  • Johan Santana
  • Joe Nathan
From the Yankees' perspective, it kills to give up Cano, absolutely kills. He's going to be a #3 hitter, an All Star, and maybe an MVP candidate down the road, but the Yanks can live without his bat. Signing A-Rod makes offense at second base expendable. I'd hate to see him go, but you can't really argue it when if you're getting these two arms in return. Ultimately, pitching wins. We've learned this the hard way, and if the Yanks could pull this deal off they wouldn't have to do another thing between now and next September to be the hands-down favorites to win the World Series. Nathan and Mo to end games, Santana, Wang, Pettitte (maybe), Hughes and Joba to start them.

From the Twins' perspective, this deal makes a lot of sense as well. Cano is a middle-of-the-lineup force and could be moved to third to fill the Nick Punto bottomless-pit-of-offensive-futility hole. He's only 25 and they could control him for 3 more years. Kennedy immediately goes into their rotation where he should contribute this year and could blossom into a #1 or #2 in the future. Tabata's upside is tremendous and Melancon is their closer two or three years down the road. One bonafide stud in their lineup today, one young starter in their rotation today, one high-ceiling hitting stud and one projected closer.

This would be my starting point with the final two minor leaguers in the deal the only negotiating points. Cano is better than any hitting prospect the Twins are going to get from the other teams both interested in dealing and able to afford the extension Santana is going to demand (unless the Mets cough up Wright or Reyes).

I know the immediate reaction is going to be that the Yanks would have to include Hughes or Joba, but I think putting Cano into the deal is the key starting point, and Cashman should be able to get them to "settle" for Kennedy. If they won't, you don't do the the deal.
by Brian on Nov 28 2007
Tags: Johan Santana | Trade Rumors |