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The rivalry continues into the offseason again this year. After last season’s battle for Matsuzaka, the Red Sox and the Yankees are now competing for the services of ace Johan Santana to boost their rotation for next season. For Santana, the Twins originally wanted Ellsbury and either Lester or Buchholz. Yesterday ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the a potential trade is now involving Lester, Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and either Charley Walters or Justin Masterson.
The New York Times reports that the Yankees are offering Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and Austin Jackson. The Twins however are holding out for top prospects such as Phil Hughes or Robinson Cano in a deal to bring Johan to the Bronx.
Analysis: While losing Crisp wouldn’t affect the Sox with Ellsbury looking to take over the position this year. Losing a lot of their young talent could easily affect them in the future. Lester had a good season last year and will continue to improve with more major league experience. Lowrie, Walters and Masterson could use more time in the minor leagues but could be integral parts in the future. Lugo wasn’t exactly stellar this season and trading Lowrie could mean was see a lot more below average play at the shortstop position. Giving up all this talent for one guaranteed year of service just isn’t worth it. If the Yankees want to trade their top prospects to pick up Santana they can have him. Recent history has shown how well the Yankees throwing money and talent for a quick fix solution has worked. (Pavano, Brown, Contreras, Clemens)
When it comes down to it the Sox just don’t need Santana this season. They are looking at Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, Lester and Buchholz. These guys were good enough to win the World Series last season and the young guys are only going to improve with more experience.
Best case scenario would be that neither team signs Santana and wait for him to become a free agent next season. The Sox would then be coming off Manny’s 17 million a year contract and would be able to take on Santana’s 25 million.