It’s About Time

More than six weeks after many thought he would be dealt, the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins agreed to a deal on Tuesday that would send four prospects to the Twin Cities for Johan Santana. Buster Olney reported the deal is pending a contract extension for the 2-time Cy Young Award winner. The Mets have 72 hours, 5:00pm ET on Friday, to work out a deal with Santana, who is reportedly seeking an extension in the 6-year, $150 million dollar range. Santana posted a career high in wins back in 2004, 20-6, if he posts 25 wins in 2008, that is a million dollars per win.

With Santana off the market, the last two weeks before pitchers and catchers report should be very interesting.

In a rematch of the 1984 National League Championship Series, at least that was how XM Radio billed the event, the Cubs will face the Padres in the last Hall of Fame Game on June 16th in Cooperstown. The Cubs played in the first Hall of Fame Game at Doubleday Field in 1940 and beat the Boston Red Sox, 10-9. The Cubs last played in the exhibition game in 1995.

Here is the latest from around the league as well as news, notes and a few rumors from the North Side….

Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts

The clock is ticking on Andy MacPhail’s self-imposed deadline. MacPhail has stated, repeatedly, over the last few weeks that decisions would be made by the end of January concerning the future of Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts.

Ken Rosenthal was on with Dave Kaplan Tuesday night and talked about both players. Rosenthal thinks the Cubs will not be able to acquire Bedard but they may have a chance to land Roberts. Kaplan asked about the delay with the Mariners on the Bedard trade. Rosenthal said there are issues and he is not sure what they could be. He reiterated if Bedard is traded….Roberts would be next.

Rosenthal said Adam Jones is better than any prospect the Cubs could offer the Orioles for Bedard and there is not enough quality in the system to land both players. Other teams in the league do not see the Cubs’ system as deep as the fans….see Fan Goggles.

Brian Roberts in a Cubs’ uniform could be very interesting according to Rosenthal. He reminded Kaplan that Roberts has never played for a winner or in an atmosphere like Chicago. He said players react differently to such changes but he believes Roberts would thrive with the Cubs. Rosenthal said if he were MacPhail, he would want Felix Pie in any deal for Roberts. Rosenthal reiterated he has heard Matt Murton and Jason Marquis’ names in various proposals.

Kaplan asked Rosenthal about the health of Erik Bedard. He said Bedard is a quality starter and the third best left-hander in the majors….despite the fact he has never pitched 200 innings in a single season and has averaged 157 innings over the past four years. He reminded Kaplan that Bedard has been pitching the AL East, and has been very effective. Rosenthal said he would take a chance on Bedard.

Rosenthal closed by saying he has heard the Orioles and Cubs “have not gotten close yet” on a deal. He believes, and told Kaplan this was his opinion only, the Orioles’ problem is not Andy MacPhail but is clearly Peter Angelos.

Rosenthal stated in his latest column, that if Angelos does block the deal for Bedard then MacPhail should “quit on the spot.

The Orioles have been the hot topic of conversation, for good reason, throughout the winter. Everyone from New York to Los Angeles knows the Orioles have two very valuable trading chips. If dealt, those two players could help restore the once proud franchise. Think about it, the Orioles would receive three to four players for Bedard, and could flip one of those (George Sherrill) for additional prospects. And according to Rosenthal, they could receive Felix Pie, Sean Gallagher and “one or two marketable veterans” from the Cubs for Roberts.

The Baltimore Sun reported, Adam Jones has a degenerative hip condition and that’s why the Erik Bedard trade hit a snag.” Roch Kubatko reminded his readers the news on Jones is a rumor but the Sun would not be reporting it if someone was “absolutely positive“. Kubatko said, “For the sake of Jones, I hope it’s false. For the sake of the person who said it, it better be right.

Andy MacPhail continued to deny rumors of the deal with the Mariners on Tuesday.

The Chicago Sun-Times mentioned if the Cubs do land Brian Roberts….it could be in the next few days.

The Cubs

Dayn Perry broke down all of the contenders’ flaws for the upcoming season. It is a very good read, and Perry is right on track. He believes the Cubs biggest flaw is the backend of the starting rotation. Perry likes the top of the Cubs rotation (Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Rich Hill) but thinks the 4th and 5th spots need help….Jason Marquis, Jon Lieber and Ryan Dempster. Perry mentioned Sean Marshall could figure into the equation and has “promise going forward.

From Around the League

The Astros signed two players to minor league contracts on Tuesday. Right-handed pitcher Brian Moehler and utility man David Newhan agreed to 1-year deals with invitations to Spring Training.

A day after Paul Lo Duca had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the Washington Nationals signed Johnny Estrada to a 1-year deal to backup Lo Duca once he returns in 4-6 weeks.

Pirates’ reliever Damaso Marte was involved in a car accident on Tuesday in the Dominican Republic according to a report on ESPN. Marte did not receive any serious injuries but complained of neck pain.

Finally…. Tim Souers from Cubby-Blue posted a Valentine Card from Lou Piniella.

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Quote of the Day

"You can be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball." - Cal Ripken Jr.
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