Twins Lower Price for Santana?

New York Times columnist Murray Chass is reporting that the Twins no longer are demanding both Philip Hughes and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees in return for Johan Santana — that they would be affable to the Yanks substituting Kennedy with Double-A righty Jeffrey Marquez, who went 15-9 at Trenton last year and isn’t considered a “top ten” in the organization.

If Chass’ information is reliable, does that mean the price drops for everyone?

Based on this turn of events, a Yankee package for Santana would presumably include Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and Jeffrey Marquez as the main chips. Compare that to the Red Sox’ supposed “final offer” of Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie. One would think that if the Twins are willing to consider those offers from American League teams, they should be equally interested in a similar package that would send their Cy Young ace out of the league.

For example, does a package of Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, Carlos Gomez, and Anderson Hernandez (or Ruben Gotay) compare favorably? What if the Mets interchanged Deolis Guerra for one of Humber or Pelfrey, or F-Mart for Gomez?

The key problem for the Mets is that they don’t have a bonafide Major Leaguer available to trade, where the Yankees have Melky Cabrera and the Bosox have Coco Crisp. Similarly, both Phil Hughes and Jon Lester have shown success at the MLB level in their brief careers, while Pelfrey has been a comparative bust (thus far). That said, the Mets would likely have to substitute Pelfrey (or Humber) with John Maine or Oliver Perez to make the deal. Is Santana worth it? Probably.

Strangely enough, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune explains that there is NO National League team in the hunt for Santana. Don’t tell that to Mets fans. The Wilpons should be rushing to squash that rumor — they’re still trying to sell season tickets. One must wonder if Omar Minaya’s “negotiations” with the Twins actually happened, or if it was all smoke to get people excited around Christmastime and pull the trigger on Mets ticket renewals and ticket plan gifts.

We’re going to pretend … er, assume … that Omar was on the level, and really made some legitimate offers to Minnesota for Johan Santana. If that was the case, and if the price is currently going down, what then is the price for Joe Blanton? Surely it cannot be Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey and Aaron Heilman, as Bluster Olney has reported — that’s much too high a price. It would seem that if that’s what Billy Beane wants for a #3 starter, and the Mets are dead-set on acquiring a starting pitcher (rather than simply moving Heilman into the rotation), they might as well add another prospect and get the best pitcher in baseball — even if it means parting with both Gomez and F-Mart.

The clock is ticking … spring training opens in about a month and a half.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.