Nothing close on Santana

It’s looking more and more like Johan Santana will not be traded before the Winter Meetings adjourn Thursday.

The Twins had conversations with the Boston Red Sox again Wednesday, but according to sources, nothing was imminent on that front as the Red Sox have been unwilling to come up with what it will take to get the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner.

The Red Sox have offered Minnesota multiple packages. One consists of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Jed Lowrie and right-hander Justin Masterson. The other would consist of lefty Jon Lester, center fielder Coco Crisp, Lowrie and Masterson.

The Twins didn’t blink when the Yankees pulled out of negotiations after their offer of pitcher Phil Hughes, outfielder Melky Cabrera and a prospect for Santana was not accepted. New York’s exit may have opened the door for other teams, including the Mets and Dodgers, to enter the Santana sweepstakes.

The Mets made an offer for Baltimore lefty Erik Bedard on Tuesday and were turned down. Adding Santana to a rotation that already includes Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey would give the Mets a formidable staff, but at this point, it is unlikely they have a suitable package to offer Minnesota for Santana.

Reds considering Prior

Cincinnati’s search for arms has the club taking a hard look at Cubs right-hander Mark Prior.

Prior, coming off right shoulder surgery, won’t be able to pitch before May at the earliest, and perhaps not until August. But he is expected to pitch in 2008, and the Cubs have until Dec. 12 to offer him arbitration. He would be eligible for free agency after the 2008 season, so it is understandable, considering that and his health issues, that the Cubs might entertain offers for him, especially if they can address a need.

The Cubs are looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder. The Reds have a few players who fit the bill, including Josh Hamilton, a player the Cubs claimed in the Rule 5 Draft before trading him to Cincinnati.

Jones in LA

Andruw Jones was in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The free-agent center fielder flew to the City of Angels on Tuesday, but it is uncertain whether Jones went west on business (like a physical from the Dodgers) or was merely there for an unrelated visit.

The Dodgers met with Jones’ agent, Scott Boras, on Tuesday. The Royals are also among the teams to have made offers to the 10-time Gold Glove Award winner.

Inge drawing interest

Now that Miguel Cabrera is coming to Detroit, the Tigers are listening to offers for third baseman Brandon Inge, with the Dodgers and Phillies among the teams inquiring about Inge. A sticking point might be Inge’s contract and whether the Tigers will pick up part of it, as Inge is owed $19.1 million over the next three seasons.


Jim Hendry has finally figured out a strategy for getting Prior to sign: threaten him with Dusty “The Shredder” Baker!

Anyone here the rumor that the Tigers have approached the Mets and discussed a possible trade for Dontrelle Willis, and even Pudge? That’s very convincing because D-Train is a good starter, and a team finally approached the Mets, instead of the Mets approaching them.

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