Sid Hartman was correct – Joe Christensen confirms today that the Twins did offer Johan Santana a five-year, $93MM deal (18.6MM annually). The pact was designed to top Carlos Zambrano’s by $1.5MM. Problem is that Santana isn’t 1.6% better than Zambrano. He’s a lot better than Z.
Santana countered by asking for $126MM, according to Christensen. His article implies that Santana asked for seven years in the counterproposal, since Santana’s agent cited Barry Zito’s deal and the dollar amount is the same. The Twins balked at the counteroffer and expect to trade Santana. This doesn’t compute, because the sides seem close. I wonder – maybe Santana actually asked for $126MM over five years? Santana could be a $25MM man on the open market, and maybe he’s not offering a hometown discount. If Christensen’s source told him the number of years, he would’ve put that in the article.
Michael Silverman notes that the Red Sox will certainly be involved if the Twins start entertaining offers. An offer of Coco Crisp, Clay Buchholz or Jon Lester, and a third solid prospect might be their proposal. Seems that the Yanks might offer Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes, while the Mets would start with Carlos Gomez.
Christensen’s article also adds that the Twins recently swapped contract proposals with closer Joe Nathan. Even at a discount Nathan would have to ask for four years, $40MM.