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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.


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I've been holding out hope that the Twins can work out a 2 year extension this offseason a la Roy Holliday 16-17 mil a year here's hopeing it might go and shot George Steinbrenner if He were to take Johan form us. But then Agian we will proabally have a Rotation of Liriano Garza Perkins Slowey Baker possibly Boof by 08 and May not need Johan.

Well, I don't know if any team could say they wouldn't need a Johan Santana.

Don't need Johan Santana? Give me a break. You can't just plug in prospect names and say you might not need him. No amount of money is too much to spend for Santana if you think about it.

Ben Sheets, Mark Prior, and Brad Penny are considerably less attractive than Peavy and Santana. Some of those guys look to be signed to extensions as happens every year.

No team has ever won the World series With one player makeing up 20% of the Payroll and That's what 16 million for santana would be.

I don't think that really means anything. That's like saying, if his contract is backloaded the Twins can win the World Series the first two years of the contract but not the last four.

It comes down to a few things: 1) Does Johan want to stay in Minnesota? 2) Is he going to sell himself to the highest bidder? 3) Is he searching for the best chance to get as many rings as he can?

The other side of it, if he is a 20 million dollar a year pitcher, how does that help most teams? What happened to the Rangers when they signed arod? They spent a lot of time in the cellar. Sure every team could use a young power pitcher who looks like the Venezulean version of Bob Gibson... but for that price even some of the high cost teams will shy away.

The point is that If the Twins want to keep Mauer Morneau Kubel and Liriano all in abiration by 08 with morneau and Mauer in the last year (so they could be really expensive) the twins are going to have to be very carefull about how they spend thier money.

A few things:

I don't see the Twins being able to keep those guys. They'll pick and choose, like Oakland does. Hopefully they'll sign some/all of them long term soon, like Oakland/Cleveland.

Who cares if he makes $20M or a certain % of a team's payroll? If he's worth it, he's worth it. (Whether he, or anyone, other than Bonds of a couple years ago is worth $20M is an entirely different question).

Further complicating things are the premiums that ace starters get, mostly because of the need to win short series in the postseason (IMO).

WHAT! Don't need Johan Santana? My Braves will take him.

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