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What's Johan Santana Worth?
Posted by Peter Schoenke at 11/19/2007 12:18:00 PM
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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.


I'm surprised to see the major signings happening so quickly. I think that will have an impact quickly on the number and amount of free agents that sign over the next few weeks. As teams (Rangers, Dodgers, Angels) become desperate in meeting their free agent needs, their purse strings will open even wider.

It would have been a great year and a great time for Santana to be out there as a free agent. I bet you aren't too far off on your contract (7 years, $165 million). But, if the situation is different next season, Santana might not get to that level.
Posted by jarnold at 11/20/2007 10:53:00 AM

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