As insulting as it is that the Yankees deigned to offer Phil Hughes - considered by many to be the top pitching prospect in all of baseball pretty much ever since he was drafted - to the Twins over the weekend, incredibly the Twinkies still aren't wowed enough by the Yanks' offer and are pressuring them to include another top-flight prospect. Hopefully the Yankees are not this stupid. If they traded away Hughes and Ian Kennedy to the Twins, I'm not even sure what the point would be anymore.
All we've seen from these Yankee teams during the last four years are offenses that light it up during the regular season and fold like a house of cards during the playoffs, combined with average to mediocre pitching that a team like the Yankees can coast on for 162 games but then gets horribly, horribly exposed come playoff time.
The Yankees have tried to patch the starting rotation with awful free agent signings and trades. Jeff Weaver, Jose Contreras, Javy Vasquez (remember when he was supposed to be a sure thing), Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson have all taken their turns at sucking immediately after donning pinstripes.
Perhaps bitten by his weak talent evaluators, Brian Cashman realized that a barren farm system never got anyone anywhere in baseball, and finally starting focusing the team's vast resources toward drafting young talent in 2004. And this past year that patience finally paid off, yielding a trio of pitchers who any team in Major League Baseball would salivate at the thought of filling three slots in their starting rotation.
If the Yankees buckle from this nonexistent pressure from Theo & Co. (and really, is there anyone out there who still believes the Red Sox are a serious player in all this? Despite supposedly being willing to deal Jacoby Ellsbury, they still refuse to include both Ellsbury and Lester, and won't even think about trading Buchholz. That alone shows me that the Sox are far better evaluators of their own talent than the Yankees. Sure, Buchholz is a nice pitcher, but he's no Phil Hughes. I never thought I'd say this, but I'd almost rather have the Sox front office running the Yankees right now - you know they wouldn't dangle a prize like Phil Franchise), it will truly represent an end to this so-called new way of Yankee thinking. We will never again be able to believe the team when they claim they are embracing a youth movement.
Thankfully the Yankees have set an arbitrary deadline of today. I highly doubt we'll have any sort of resolution, but if I could have one wish this holiday season, it would be for the Twins to demand too much, the Yankees pull out and Hughes' name never mentioned in trade talks EVER AGAIN.
UPDATE: River Ave. Blues is reporting that Andy Pettitte is returning next year! If this is true, this is HUGE. This should allow the Yankees' desperation for Santana to wane. Thank you Andy! You just may have SAVED PHIL HUGHES!