Fans of the Minnesota Twins, listen up!! The 2007 season may be your last opportunity to see Johan Santana in a Twins uniform.
Granted, Santana’s contract is not even due to expire until after the 2008 season. However, it’s looking less likely that he’ll even finish said contract as a Minnesota Twin after another pitcher broke the bank yesterday.
Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants reached a preliminary agreement on the largest pitcher contract in baseball history, a $126 million, seven-year deal.
Like Santana, Zito is also a left-handed starting pitcher. Given Zito’s durability and performance over his seven-year career, the Giants saw fit to reward him with a free agent contract which will average $18 million per season!
That said, what will Santana command on the open market when his contract is up after the ’08 campaign? The Twins were interested in extending Santana’s current deal but he decided to wait on what the market would bear. In retrospect, that move has made him millions!
Let’s look at it from a shear numbers standpoint. From 2004-06, Zito has a won-loss record of 41-34 with a 4.05 ERA.
Santana in the same time frame: 55-19 with a 2.75 ERA and two AL Cy Young awards.
It would stand to reason that it would take $20 million per year MINIMUM just to keep Santana in a Twins uniform. Sadly, I don’t see that happening.
If the Twins were to be out of contention for the playoffs by the All-Star break this coming July, Santana could possibly be dealt then. With CF Torii Hunter also likely to be gone after ’07, there is definitely a sense of urgency for the Twins to get to the World Series this year.
So get your tickets ASAP, Twins fans.
The Johan Santana Farewell Tour commenced the moment Zito signed on the dotted line.