2009 MLB Free Agents: Johan Santana
Is it too early to be talking about this? Apparently not. Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press throws it out there: what's going to happen when Johan Santana hits free agency after the 2008 season? Walters says Santana will still be just 29. In reality, 2009 will be his age 30 season.
Let's use Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projection system to forecast how much money Santana might receive on the open market. Let's start with Roy Oswalt, who will receive $14.6MM annually in his new five-year deal. PECOTA says his forecasted performance is worth about $40MM for 2007-11 as opposed to the $73MM he will receive. That's more than an 80% premium for an ace starter.
Peter Greenberg currently represents Johan Santana. Other Greenberg clients include Bobby Abreu, Kelvim Escobar, Freddy Garcia, and Jose Reyes. It seems that if Greenberg plans to maximize Santana's payday, he could ask for $120MM over six years. Who knows? Santana might be able to get $150MM over seven seasons. He's been the best pitcher in baseball for three years running and has shown no signs of slowing down.
By my calculations, Jeremy Bonderman, Mark Prior, Brad Penny, Jake Peavy, and Ben Sheets will also be in the free agent class of 2009. '09 will be Bonderman's age 26 season and Peavy's age 28 year. If all of these guys actually hit the market the spending should get insane.