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Steinbrenner: Yankees' deal for Santana 'probably off'

12/04/2007 10:02 AM ET
By The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hank Steinbrenner's deadline for a Johan Santana trade with Minnesota passed without an agreement.

Minnesota came off its demand that the Yankees include pitcher Ian Kennedy along with pitcher Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera, but the Twins still were asking for more than the Yankees were willing to offer.

"It's still something that we can't do," Steinbrenner said Tuesday morning. "As far as I'm concerned, it's probably off."

Steinbrenner, a senior vice president and son of owner George Steinbrenner, planned to speak with general manager Brian Cashman later Tuesday to assess the team's stance.

New Twins general manager Bill Smith didn't seem concerned about the deadline. Of course, baseball teams let deadlines pass all the time only to resume talks later.

"We've got good players. We have players that maybe other clubs would like to acquire," he said. "We've had a lot of years where we keep going over and picking up the phone receiver to make sure the dial tone was still (there). We couldn't get the phone to ring."

Boston is thought to have offered Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury — but only one of them — as part of a deal.

Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, said his client was angered by a report that he has told the Twins to only trade him to the Yankees or Red Sox. Santana has made no such request, Greenberg said, and also hasn't ruled out returning to the Twins next season.

"He was very adamant about that. He wanted to make sure we clarified that. That upset him," Greenberg said. "He's been very clear all along that he wants Bill to make the best deal possible."

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein didn't express any time pressure. He said there was no expiration date on any of his trade talks.

"I think we've only done that when we thought it was in our best interest," Epstein said. "We don't have current discussions ongoing for which I think that would be in our best interest. We're pretty content with where we are and we don't think anything major is getting held up."

New York did get a left-hander Monday: Andy Pettitte decided to pitch for the Yankees next season rather than retire.

Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday that the 35-year-old lefty had started telling teammates on Sunday. Hendricks then informed Cashman of the news.

Hendricks said Yankees captain Derek Jeter and catcher Jorge Posada had lobbied Pettitte to return, and the pitcher consulted his wife.

"Players such as Jeter and Posada told him how much they needed him back, as did Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi," Hendricks said. "Andy decided this weekend that he didn't want to keep the Yankees on hold as they sought to determine their team for next year."

After Pettitte declined his $16 million option last month, wanting more time for his decision, the Yankees left him a standing $16 million offer.

"Sure, I'm happy," Steinbrenner said. "There's still a couple details to work out there."

In other news:

— Former commissioner Bowie Kuhn and ex-Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley were elected to the Hall of Fame by the revamped Veterans Committee along with managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth and former Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss. Ex-players' association head Marvin Miller saw his vote plummet from 64 percent to 25 percent, largely due to a shift that made current and former management members a majority.

— Washington acquired outfielder Elijah Dukes from Tampa Bay for minor league left-hander Glenn Gibson.

— The Chicago White Sox obtained outfielder Carlos Quentin from Arizona for minor league first baseman Chris Carter.

— Boston reached a preliminary agreement on a $3 million, one-year contract with reliever Mike Timlin.

— The Yankees finalized their $4 million, two-year deal with backup catcher Jose Molina and designated first baseman Andy Phillips for assignment. Molina, as well as Jorge Posada, are represented by Sam and Seth Levinson, giving them a monopoly on Yankees' catchers.

Other trades were percolating in the meeting rooms.

Florida is expected to deal third baseman Miguel Cabrera sometime soon, and Baltimore is shopping shortstop Miguel Tejada. Oakland is checking out the market for pitcher Dan Haren.

"People are very aggressive now to get something done where before it was more of a feeling-out process. I think now you're going to start seeing a lot of things," Cashman said. "Teams are just now willing to pull the triggers on some things where early in the process they weren't."

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