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Deal or no deal?

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  December 3, 2007 09:58 AM

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NASHVILLE -- Good morning from Nashville. You know you're in Music City when your wakeup call is a taped message from a country and western singer. Me, I was awakened by Whisperin' Bill Anderson.

We're in the Central time zone here, so things are just beginning to stir, but there is some anticipation that there will be movement in Johan Santana trade talks. No guarantees, though, even if new Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner said he's giving the Twins until today to take or leave the Yanks' offer. We saw with the A-Rod "opt-out" business what a Yankee ultimatum is worth these days.

Reports that Santana has informed the Twins that he won't waive his no-trade clause once the season begins is more likely to accelerate things, but new Twins GM Bill Smith certainly has the option of not being pressured into a decision now.

Are the Sox really willing to give up Jacoby Ellsbury in a Santana deal? I've certainly taken note of what some of you are thinking, judging by the Boston.com poll that at this hour shows 82 percent against moving Jacoby (37,494 votes). I will tell you I spoke with another team's GM yesterday who said he wouldn't hesitate to include Ellsbury in a deal. A very nice player, he said, but Santana would be a Pedro-like acquisition.

The idea of paying $25m for one player, which Santana reportedly is seeking, also is problematic, especially if you are the Sox and Josh Beckett is being paid $10m a year. The feeling I get is that the Sox would like Santana, but love the idea of the Yanks having to shell out more than $50m a year to just two players, A-Rod and Santana.

We'll keep you posted as we learn of developments.

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