If the Sox can pull off a deal for Johan Santana, they will have the best rotation in baseball and will be the favorites to repeat. However, there are a lot of questions out there about this deal. Let's run through a few.
- How can the Sawx let Jacoby leave? Because he's not Johnny Damon in his prime. He's a kid. Yes, he could be Damon this year or next and be a force at the top of the lineup. He also could be Ricky Ledee. In 1999, Ledee was going to be a star for the Yankees in the outfield. He was coming off helping them win a World Series and taking over as a starter during the 1998 playoffs. Ellsbury could be brilliant; I feel that he will. But he also could be a complete bust, injury-prone, or even some sort of head-case. I love Jacoby, but the point is that we don't know what he'll do. We have a much better idea of what Johan Santana will give us.
- Santana is losing it. Maybe a bit, but that bit still makes him the best shot to be the best lefty in baseball for at least the next 3 years. He eats innings, he strikes out tons, and he is going to love pitching in the limelight after quietly winning 2 Cy Youngs. There are no sure things, but he's as close as you get. He's much more of a lock to dominate than Beckett was.
- Buchholz is un-touch-able (period) He shouldn't be. It's better to give up him and have Lester as your young gun in a rotation with three young aces (Beckett, Johan, and Dice-K) than really on Clay to BE Johan. I'd rather keep Jacoby and offer Clay, taking Jed Lowie or Masterson off the table.
- The Yanks are out of the sweepstakes. I have no reason to doubt the reporters at the winter meetings. But, fact is, they have made a better offer than the Sox to the Twins. Philip Hughes was the top pitching prospect in baseball about a year ago and I think he did alright in the majors as a rookie last year. He's not as hyped as Joba, but I think he's supposed to be nasty. Similarly, I think Melky Cabrera is a very good player. I was impressed. I would not count them out.
- The Twins won't "stay" I think they very well might. Santana and Francisco Lariano could be the nastiest lefty pair I remember seeing.