If the Minnesota Twins want Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain for Johan Santana, the New York Yankees should tell them to go fish. In fact the Yanks may be just as wise to fish somewhere else, namely revisiting trade talks with the Florida Marlins. While the Yanks have been virtually ruled out of the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes since re-signing A-Rod, they may be better served to make a deal with the Marlins rather than the Twins.
First on the Santana front, for one thing if the Twins are asking for a king's ransom in the neighborhood of a five for one deal involving say either Phil Hughes and or Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano and other prospects, then it's a bad deal. Look I'm not saying the Yankees are entitled to Santana and should get him for Wilson Betemit, Shelley Duncan and Kyle Farnsworth, but to gut your farm system or core young players for one guy as great as he is doesn't make a lot of sense, especially given that the Twins have little to no leverage when it comes to keeping Santana.
If the Yankees made a reasonable package sending one of the big three in 2007 minor league pitcher of the year Ian Kennedy, centerfielder Melky Cabrera and perhaps a pitching prospect like Eastern League Double-A pitcher of the year Alan Horne and or outfield prospects Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata, then I'd say it's a pretty fair deal. Especially considering even without Hughes, Chamberlain or Cano, that's still a better deal than anyone else is throwing out there, so why should the Yankees bid against themselves unless the Mets want to get crazy and throw in Jose Reyes or the Red Sox get in there with a package of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Bucholz, even though they've said Ellsbury is off limits.
Now onto what the Yankees could actually do to fill in more holes and that involves going back into talks with the Marlins. Think about it, if the Yankees are going to give up a plethora of four to five players to get one in Santana, then why not make a multi-player deal with the Marlins and fill more holes in return?
I'll preface this by saying I don't want to give up Phil Hughes in either deal, however giving Hughes to Florida makes more sense if you can get the Marlins to give you more back in return, rather than giving up Hughes along with other players to Minnesota for "just" Santana.
Originally it had been bantered around that the Marlins would want Kennedy, Cabrera, Horne and one of the two minor league outfielders between Tabata and Jackson for Miguel Cabrera. However, had they wanted Hughes in the deal instead of Kennedy, the Yankees could've easily asked back for not only Cabrera but Dontrelle Willis and a couple of the Marlins young bullpen arms such as Matt Lindstrom, Taylor Tankersley, Henry Owens etc.
Now honestly given everything in the way of the number and value of prospects traded, you tell me what looks better? Trading a bevy of prospects for one guy in Johan Santana who will cost a fortune. Or filling 1st base for the next decade with Miguel Cabrera, adding a still young lefty workhorse starter in Dontrelle Willis and potentially filling a couple of bullpen spots with a possible successor to Mariano Rivera with a guy like Lindstrom, Owens and or Tankersley?
Of course if the Yankees really didn't care at all for their minor league system, they could technically pull both deals off. If they sent Kennedy, Cabrera, Jackson and Horne to Minnesota for Santana and then sent Hughes, Tabata and another couple of pitching prospects to Florida for Cabrera, Willis and either Lindstrom, Owens and or Tankersley, they'd have a pretty sick roster, especially if to replace Melky Cabrera as many are expecting, they sign Aaron Rowand.
So imagine a lineup of: Damon LF, Jeter SS, Cabrera 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Abreu RF, Posada C, Cano 2B, Rowand CF, Matsui DH. Starting rotation: Santana, Pettitte, Wang, Chamberlain, Willis. Bullpen: Rivera, Vizciano, Lindstrom, Tankersley, Owens, Mahay, Percival.