This was late Monday night, about 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins' general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?
Obviously, the Yanks passed. Dollars aside, I am not sure that was the right decision after all. I've yo-yo'd on this for a while. I'm happy that we kept the kids, but there's a seed of doubt after reading that paragraph above. That would be a deal to take, not to pass on.
What would the team look like today, had the Yanks agreed to these terms? Well, we'd have to sign a 4th OF, preferably one with speed/youth, like Corey Patterson. He'd be a part time starter in CF, moving to LF or RF at times to spell Abreu and Matsui or Damon (in CF). Would be inexpensive, relatively speaking. Fourth OF's like Patterson are always attainable.
And while giving up IPK and (possibly) Jeff Marquez would take a chunk out of the upper tier of the farm system, the Yanks would still have a very solid core with guys like Horne, McCutchen, Jackson, Tabata, Brackman, Betances, etc., still left. That's a pretty solid group. Plus, best of all, the Yanks would still have Hughes and Joba.
A rotation of Johan, Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Moose/Joba would be pretty darn impressive.
I just wonder if we swung the needle too far to conservatism, if, of course, Klapisch's accounts of the Monday night offer were indeed true. Give me a few hours and I'll probably come back and call myself an idiot. Or you can do it for me.
UPDATE #1: An hour doesn't go by before we're getting more info and changing our minds based upon the new info! Thanks to Greg at Sliding Into Home for pointing this one out, refuting Klapisch's late-Monday scenario. The Daily News has this tidbit, and if true, would render the previous yo-yo moot.
According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins' only alternative.
If this were indeed the "last and final" proposal, good for Cashman & Co. to hold the line.