Opinion: Why is Santana Deal Taking so Long

During an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter last night, ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian said that, while it is still a three-team race, he believes that Johan Santana will eventually be traded to the Yankees, ‘since they have made the strongest offer.’

well, i certainly hope the Twins trade santana to whomever makes the strongest offer…i just hope they eventually see the Mets as having such an offer…

…that said, it is amazing to me just how quiet things are on the santana-trade front…

…honestly, i have not heard much, nor asked much for that matter…i find that when things get down to it, and real dollars are on the line, comments from insiders are even harder to interpret than usual…so, it’s often easier to just sit back and let the narrative play out…

…however, if i had to make an educated guess – emphasis on the word guess – this is what i believe is going on

the Twins want to trade santana before spring training, and santana would like to be traded before spring training…the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets have let the Twins know what they are each willing to part with…however, the Twins would like to acquire a ready-for-action, major-league player in the deal, such as Jon Lester or Phil Hughes, a) because they’d like a semi-instant return on the deal, but b) because it will be easier to sell the fans on parting with johan if such a player is starting for the Twins next season…

…the problem is, a) the Yankees no longer want to trade hughes, b) the Twins are not all that enamored with the Red Sox package, otherwise they would have sent them santana by now, and c) the Mets do not have any major-league ready talent to trade, which is why adding Fernando Martinez to their rumored four-prospect package is no guarantee to wrap this up…i keep hearing people say, “Just add Fernando and be done with it,’ but adding martinez will not get the Twins any closer to that major-league ready player…which is why we keep getting radio hosts and random reports suggesting Jose Reyes must be involved…because, if the Mets want to drop the hammer and end this, that’s what it will take, i.e., a major-league ready player…of course, as we know, that’s never going to happen…

…however, at some point, the Twins will have to make a decision…especially if santana forces the issue…

…and so, the Twins are in hiding as they take one more look at what the Mets are offering, and decide whether they absolutely must get that major-league ready player or if they can live with and sell a collection of minor-leaguers…at the same time, santana and his agents are quiet, as they decide how best to encourage a deal, while getting him the most money from his new team, all while helping the Twins get the most back in a trade…meanwhile, the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets have made their case, some more aggressively than others, and they’re sitting quiet while waiting for the Twins to call

…lastly, the Mets are hoping santana calls the Twins and says, ‘Trade me now, preferably to Queens,” as it will give the Mets all the leverage in a trade, and more or less guarantee they do not have to part with Fernando Martinez…

…again, the above is a ‘guess,’ but it’s a fairly educated guess, and i would not be surprised to learn i am more right than wrong