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Boston preps new offer for Santana

Yankees' self-imposed deadline passes with no deal

Posted: Tuesday December 4, 2007 12:12PM; Updated: Tuesday December 4, 2007 2:07PM
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By Jon Heyman, SI.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Red Sox are preparing to revamp their proposal for superstar pitcher Johan Santana and it appears they may be the new frontrunners as the Santana Sweepstakes nears the finish line.

The Twins are expected to decide by the end of Tuesday whether Santana will go to Boston or perhaps New York -- though for the Yankees to get back in it they will have to ignore their own Monday deadline.

The Red Sox are planning to enhance their offer by the early afternoon Tuesday. After the Twins' talks with the Yankees hit a stalemate over prospects just as the Yankees' self-imposed deadline hit late Monday, Minnesota put in a midnight call to Boston and requested that the Red Sox make their "best'' offer that included young left-hander Jon Lester.

However, it's still possible that Minnesota is using the Red Sox to try to jack up the Yankees' current offer, which includes highly-touted young pitcher Phil Hughes.

The Twins and Red Sox exchanged medical information on Santana and Lester, and both sides were said to be satisfied with what they saw, another sign Boston leads the sweepstakes.

Boston was preparing bids Tuesday morning that included either Lester or top outfield prospect Jacoby Ellsbury, though it still appears that the Red Sox' new bid will include one -- but not both -- of those coveted players. Boston's secondary prospects are also well-regarded, and it appeared possible the Red Sox may just expand the offer to include more of them.

Boston is well-stocked with prospects, including pitchers Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden, shortstop Jed Lowrie and outfielder Brandon Moss.

Meanwhile, Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner told the Associated Press Tuesday morning they were "probably'' going to stick to their self-imposed Monday deadline, and thus be out of the derby. However, the Yankees have changed their minds before, as they did with Alex Rodriguez. After bidding A-Rod adieu, they gave him a record $275 million contract that's expected to be finalized momentarily.

The Twins and Yankees reached what one person term an "impasse'' after the Twins insisted that the Yankees include either pitcher Ian Kennedy or a tandem of pitching prospect Alan Horne and outfield prospect Austin Jackson in their package in addition to Hughes and outfielder Melky Cabrera.

The Yankees told the Twins earlier that they did not want to include Horne or Jackson, and they certainly didn't want to include both. They also said they would not put Kennedy in with Hughes and Cabrera.

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