Johan Santana gets a full no-trade clause for 2008 if he finishes top three in the Cy Young voting this year. In 2007 Santana was fifth in VORP and doesn’t even crack the top ten in ESPN’s Cy Predictor. Though I have to question the validity of any tool that puts Joe Borowski ninth.
Anyway, mostly because of the Twins missing the playoffs, it’s safe to say that Santana will not finish in the top three. Instead, he gets to choose 12 teams he cannot be traded to. As Nat Boyle recently noted, Santana could theoretically strategically select the 12 teams most likely to trade for him if he really wanted to stay in Minnesota for one more season.
That doesn’t seem likely, however. Based on this article from La Velle E. Neal III, Santana would likely give up his no-trade protection if A) the acquiring team was a contender and B) he was compensated $1-2MM to give up his rights.
All we’ve really seen so far is a questionable Matt Kemp/Clayton Kershaw rumor that doesn’t make it past my reality checker. We’ve also got Charley Walters saying there’s "little doubt" the Mets will pursue Santana, for what that’s worth. Buster Olney tosses out a Jose Reyes/Carlos Gomez/Mike Pelfrey for Santana and Jason Bartlett proposal. It doesn’t sound like any true trade discussions have leaked to the press yet. I wouldn’t expect things to get going until the Winter Meetings December 3-6 in Nashville.