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News and Notes: Santana Talks Heating Up?

Although several outlets report talks have slowed, it looks like the Twins are asking for final offers in preparation for closing out a deal. Yankees Senior VP Hank Steinbrenner said the Yankees have made their best offer to the Twins, a deal that reportedly includes Phil Hughes, Jeff Marquez, Melky Cabrera, and another prospect. The Mets have recently cut off talks with the Twins unless they are willing to back off their demands for Jose Reyes. The Red Sox have waited patiently this whole time to wait for a Twins decision, but might getting restless. It is believed they have two offers on the table, one that includes Jon Lester, and the other that includes Jacoby Ellsbury. I still think a deal will not get done because teams are getting restless with the Twins, as they continue to ask for more. I do have one prediction though. If a team besides the Yankees land Santana, Hank Steinbrenner will come out and say that 'the Yankees did not even want Santana.'

Tigers Hope Inge Will Reconsider: The Tigers are still looking to trade Brandon Inge, but remain hopeful that he will reconsider and stay. Inge has been the face of the franchise for several years and is a fan and player favorite. I think he will stay mostly because teams are not looking for a player like Inge making nearly 20 million dollars.

Yankees Interested In Rodriguez?: Could A-Rod and K-Rod be together in the Bronx? Seems very likely. Francisco Rodriguez has always been a fan of Yankee Stadium and they could offered the big salary he will ask for. The Angels have a good bullpen, and would rather keep Vlad Guerrero than Rodriguez.

Jays, Mariners, Reds, still in on Bedard?: The Blue Jays, Mariners, and Reds continue to talk with the Orioles about a trade involving Erik Bedard, but talks are not very far. The Reds seemed to have the best chance before the New Year, but they have not talked since early last month.

Red Sox not looking long-term with Youk, yet:
Kevin Youkilis is shaping up to be the Red Sox first baseman of the future, but the Red Sox are not looking long-term just yet. Youkilis batted .288 with 16 HR and 83 RBI, and is just 28, so expect him to land a four year deal, worth 24-28 million dollars. The Red Sox plan to wait until he gets closer to free agency before going long-term. For now, they seem fine with going year-to-year.

Blue Jays looking for catching?: The Blue Jays are looking for another catchers and are interested in Ronny Paulino, Johnny Estrada, and Michael Barrett. Whether a deal will get done is in question, but I think the Blue Jays would like someone to start over Gregg Zaun and Sal Fasano.

Ian Stewart moving to second?: The Rockies plan is to bring Marcus Giles in to play second for 2008, but hope third base prospect Stewart can continue to have success as he makes the switch to second base. Garrett Atkins is not going to be traded by the Rockies and Stewart, who is one of their top prospects, is not drawing much interest on the trade front.

Pirates desperate to trade Morris?:
The Pirates have contacted nearly a dozen teams about the availability of Matt Morris. Morris has got a big salary, so they Pirates might have to absorb some in a trade. Although Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Mets and Yankees are likely landing spots, I think the Mariners might look to him as a fall back in case they miss out on Bedard.

Mike Piazza probably done?: Mike Piazza is looking to play in 2008, but is not finding much luck. AL teams are not desperate for DH's, certainly not one on the decline either. Piazza could go to Japan, or platoon at catcher and first in Pittsburgh, which is very unlikely.

Derek Jeter spotted in Costa Rica: According to a close source of mine on vacation, Derek Jeter is vacationing in Costa Rica before getting back to prepare for Spring Training.