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DMN Rangers blog on Santana

Richard Durrett suggests that the Rangers at least think about getting involved in the Johan Santana talks, especially considering how light Boston's and New Yorks' offers - which have been regarded as frontrunning options - are.

I'm not going to throw my support behind this notion, but I do think that, in light of recent events, it does at least warrant discussion. There have been a few facts that have kept most of us from wanting to entertain dealing for one of these soon-to-expire contracts:

  1. Their contracts are soon to expire. What point does paying up for a player with one or two years left on his deal serve when you're not even going to be good until that time has passed? You'd be right back in the same boat as when you had to deal with the Teixeira (and Young) mess.
  2. The organization has accrued some assets, however many of those are not yet in range of the majors, and the ones who are - like Eric Hurley, Brandon McCarthy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ian Kinsler, CJ Wilson - are the primary reasons that you think you might have a starting point to build from. Trading most of them for one player doesn't really get you anywhere.
  3. Particularly in the case of the pitchers possibly available, even if you could extend them you would have to promise way more years than most are willing to commit to a pitcher, particularly at a big chunk of your payroll.
And I've certainly subscribed to each of those theories. But in regard to issues one and two, the two most commonly raised objections to the whole notion, if you believe what the media has reported, may not be nearly as significant concerns as we would have assumed. The Yankees and Red Sox have basically limited their offers to things that the majority of teams in baseball could offer if they cared to. A potential #3 starter, a borderline fourth outfielder level centerfielder, and another B level prospect? While acquiring the actual centerfielder to fit that demand might take a bit of work, if the Twins do need exactly that out of this particularl deal, maybe you do have enough assets that you could top the deals on the table and either get involved yourself or make the big dogs at least get serious.

It sounds like a deal involving Santana likely has an extension involved, so #3 is going to be more of an issue than #1, as would the question of why Santana would want to sign an extension with Texas. You wouldn't be trading for a rent-a-lefty; you would be trading for a to-be 29 year old lefty who is and has for a few years been the current ace of the universe.

I'm stopping short of pushing for this or supporting it - as Durrett does. The thing is, this is an organization that whines regularly about how there just isn't any way possible to get find a true ace to lead their staff. If you were really going to gamble some quality players in a deal for a frontline guy, I'd want it to be for a healthy, relatively young, absolute top of the line guy like this.

You would probably have to give, just in terms of pitching, McCarthy and Hurley, possibly our buddy BGL or Volquez. But in a couple of years, are our guys going to be worth more (though they will be at a much cheaper price) than this guy? I think that the idea is worth a little more thought than maybe most of us tend to be willing to give. Unless we strike gold with a Beavan or Font (and how likely is that?), the move to acquire a true ace is always going to be a hard thing to commit to, and the opportunity doesn't come along all that often.