Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that Johan Santana’s 2006 Cy Young triggered a full no-trade clause in his contract for 2007. The clause will stick for 2008 if he finishes in the top three of the voting for that award. Otherwise, he can choose 12 teams he can’t be traded to in ’08.
There’s a lot of speculation going around concerning Santana. Patrick Reusse opined that Santana will become baseball’s first $200MM starter and the Twins have no chance. Furthermore, a lot of folks are trying to fit him for Yankee pinstripes already.
Before the 2005 season, the Twins locked Santana in at four years and $40MM. That he was willing to let the Twins buy out a few years of free agency may indicate that Santana will take a discount to remain in Minnesota. Not a ridiculous discount, but still. $20 million a year would be a bargain for Santana – I’m sure he could top that in free agency.
I imagine there’s a good chance that even if they don’t intend to re-sign him, the Twins will just hold on to Santana until his contract runs out. The NTC is a big obstacle and it may prevent some team from offering three top-flight prospects. That’s probably what it would take. The Yankees may not have three guys that would get this deal done. The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Angels, Marlins, or Devil Rays might be able to pull it off if they were so inclined.