Out on the open market, center fielder Torii Hunter might fish for more than a five-year, $75MM contract. He could probably get six years, or $16-17MM annually. However, 5/75 would be sufficient from the Twins, as Hunter hopes to remain in Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman (linked above) says re-signing Hunter at that price and trading Johan Santana would probably leave the Twins with the payroll flexibility to acquire a third baseman and a DH. Hunter’s departure could seemingly impact ticket sales in Minnesota more than Santana’s.
Santana is on the hook for $13.25MM in 2008. Swapping him for two 0-3 players while backloading Hunter’s deal and letting Carlos Silva walk could free up $15MM net this winter. That could mean Barry Bonds and Mike Lamb, Cliff Floyd and Mike Lowell, or a million other combinations.