Update: Joe Christensen clears things up. The original report of five years, $93 million was essentially a four year extension at $20 million per. The extra year and $13 million will be what Santana makes in 2008.
Contrary to what’s been reported, John Heyman of SI reports that the Twins offered Johan Santana just four years, not the previously reported five. The offer was reportedly worth $80 million, which puts it short of the five years and $93 million we’d been hearing since last weekend. It would exceed that offer, though, in terms of average annual value.
Heyman speculates that the Twins and Santana could be $50 million or more apart, increasing the likelihood that the left-handed ace will be dealt, possibly as soon as the Winter Meetings, which begin December 3rd. Just judging from past Winter Meetings, I’d find it surprising if a team was able to broker such a deal that week. If we’re going to see Santana traded, it might take some more time.
From there, Heyman lists the teams we’ve all heard a thousand times as suitors for Santana: Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers. And he also lists their trade chips, which we’ve also heard plenty of times before.
My take is that the Twins won’t accept anything less than two elite prospects and another one or two slightly lesser, but still high-profile talents. The teams with the best hitters might win out, since the Twins are stocked with pitching.
Should an acceptable offer not emerge, the Twins could head into the season with a rotation of Santana, Francisco Liriano, Matt Garza, Boof Bonser, and Kevin Slowey. Glenn Perkins is another option, should one of the bottom two prove ineffective or become injured. That rotation would be among the tops in the AL, and would probably help the Twins contend in 2008. However, they’re certainly going to need another bat or two. We’ve seen reports that Garza could be shopped with those intentions.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.