Twins, Yankees discussing possible Santana trade

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins have
started trade talks involving Johan Santana.

Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Monday that
discussions are ongoing but it was too early to tell whether they
would lead to a deal. He did not detail how far talks had

"I don't want to get into that at this point, as far as what
they want, what we're willing to give and all that," he said.
"It's preliminary right now."

Santana is eligible for free agency after the 2008 season, and
the Twins have been trying to sign the two-time AL Cy Young Award
winner to an extension.

Asked whether the Twins had said they would consider a trade,
Steinbrenner responded: "Oh, yeah."

The New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers also
are thought to be interested in Santana, who is far better than any
of the starting pitchers available on the free-agent market.

Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, has not spoken publicly about
his talks with the Twins, who last week lost free-agent center
fielder Torii Hunter to the Los Angeles Angels.

Santana, a left-hander who turns 29 in March, has a 93-44 record
with a 3.22 ERA in eight major league seasons and is owed $13.25
million next year. Minnesota would want top prospects in any deal
and while Steinbrenner previously said he wouldn't trade some of
the Yankees' top young pitchers for third baseman Miguel Cabrera,
he didn't rule out a deal for a pitcher.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has received
repeated inquiries from teams about Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain
and Ian Kennedy.

Santana has a no-trade provision in his contract, and a team
acquiring him likely would want to discuss an extension. That means
if the teams agreed to a trade, there probably would be a 72-hour
window to work out a new contract.

After reaching agreements to re-sign Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Jose Molina -- deals that are awaiting
completion -- Steinbrenner said the Yankees have turned their
attention to relievers. Cashman has said the team hopes to keep
Luis Vizcaino.

"Obviously, I think the big thing for us now is shoring up the
bullpen all that we can," Steinbrenner said. "Brian is looking
into several different things."

Steinbrenner said Rodriguez likely will take a physical this