Over the weekend, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Sid Hartman reported that the Twins made Johan Santana a five-year, $93 million contract offer. Santana can be a free agent after 2008 and most people think he'll be traded if the Twins can't sign him to an extension this winter.
A few thoughts on the development.
First, is the rumor even true? Hartman is the 87-year old sports gossip columnist who largely has free reign to publish whatever rumor he hears.
I found it funny that the paper's own Twins beat writer, La Velle E. Neal III, would say "I havenít heard that, but itís possible that itís true," in his own blog. Why wouldn't a fellow staff member accept what the paper publishes is true?
Second, there are two schools of thought on the offer. It's at the low end of his value range, so the Twins may just be covering themselves if they trade him this winter by saying they made an offer. If you think the Twins have no intention of sining him, then this offer looks like a case of public relations.
The other school of thought is the offer, while at the low end of the range, is fair (at $18.6 million, he'd still get more than the $18 million per year of Barry Zito's $126 million contract) and represents the start of serious negotiations.
We'll have to see how this plays out, but it's clear Santana would be far and away the top pitcher on the free agent market if he was available this winter. What would he get? My guess would be seven years and $165 million.