According to Bill Madden (who, despite taking his licks from a good majority of many of my favorite Yankee bloggers whose opinions I hold in high esteem, I actually agree with every so often) , the Yanks are out of the running in the Johan Santana race.
This is obviously the best news ever (although until Santana is actually being fitted for an ugly red uniform, I won't hold my breath that the Yankees are truly out of it), but Madden's tone suggests he feels the Yanks should've pulled the trigger on a trade that would have apparently sent our man Hughes, Melky, Jeff Marquez (from what I've read, a slightly less-heralded version of Alan Horne) and Mitch Hilligoss to the Twins for Santana.
"The Yankee GM, who is staking his job on his young-gun pitchers, has walked away from a 4-for-1 trade of players the Twins were agreeable to for Johan Santana at the winter meetings that included Hughes, but not Ian Kennedy (as Minnesota initially requested) or any of the Bombers' other top prospects."
If this is indeed the case, then I have to seriously reevaluate my opinion of Brian Cashman. I've had many an argument with my Yankee-fan friends about Cash's merits and faults, and he usually ends up getting tossed under the bus once you start laundry listing all of his terrible acquisitions.
But if Cash really stood up to Hankenbrenner and said "Look, there is no way I'm trading away four kids from a farm system that under my watchful eye went from being utterly barren to one of the strongest in baseball in less than three years for a pitcher that the Red Sox are clearly still bluffing on obtaining and who can we throw gobs of money at to pitch for us next year," then my hat is off.