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Mixed emotions

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  December 5, 2007 12:06 AM

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If the Sox do not trade for Johan Santana, an outcome last night as plausible as a deal going down, it may stem in part from some ambivalence on the part of club officials on whether they really want to do it. Theo Epstein and Co. enjoy watching the kids develop and win--going out and signing Santana makes them more like the Yankees. And surprisingly, there might be a greater willingness, at least on the part of some on the baseball ops side, to let Jacoby Ellsbury go in a Santana deal, and hold onto Lester, the belief being that 1) Ellsbury's value will never be higher and 2) Lester may have a higher upside than he's given credit for. At the same time, the Sox are well aware of the attachment many fans already have developed to Ellsbury. On the other hand, how do you pass up the chance to acquire Santana, a pitcher as special as Pedro Martinez was a decade ago?
These are the thoughts that get kicked around while waiting to see if anything develops at the midnight gathering of the Sox brass, development people and scouts.

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