Sid Hartman has a tidbit towards the end of his column today: The Twins have made a five-year, $93 million offer for Johan Santana. The source of this is not the Twins, but rather Hartman hearing "word in baseball circles." The $18.6 million average annual value would surpass that of Barry Zito, though Zito’s deal was for seven years.
Santana is entering his age 29 season in 2008, so this contract would keep him locked up through age 35.
While Johan could probably do better on the open market, if he really wants to stay in Minnesota, he should consider this offer — that is, if this offer actually exists. As a free agent, he could likely command seven years and north of $20 million annually.
Please note that the following is just me throwing numbers out there, and that I don’t necessarily think that Santana is in some kind of decline. But his batting average, OBP, and SLG against have risen from year to year since 2004. He also gave us a career-high 33 homers in 2007 in 219 innings, his lowest total since he was split between the rotation and bullpen in 2003. His WHIP also broke 1.00 for the first time since 2003 (oh, heavens no, not above 1.00!).
The Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees have been the most actively linked to Santana, but every team likely has some level of interest in trading for the two-time Cy Young winner.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.