Johan Santana took his physical examination in New York today and passed. The contract terms were finalized as a six year deal with a team option for a seventh year. The last year could become guaranteed based on performance marks. The total value of the contract could exceed $150 million.
Of course, the value of this contract seems ridiculous. The only method to determine Santana’s value is based on players with similar skills that have recently signed contracts. The closest source of comparison is Barry Zito and his 7 year $126 million contract. That had to be the starting point for the negotiations. In the end, the total value of Santana’s contract is relatively reasonable.
It’s not often that a team gets a shot at a 29 year old two-time Cy Young Award winner. As a matter of fact, it almost never happens. Most of the top performing pitchers that are still in their prime playing years (28-32) never get to free agency. Just look at the Padres contract extension with Jake Peavey. The Mets had to jump at this opportunity.
Even though the Mets will be married to Santana for longer than they probably wanted to be, I believe that it’ll be looked at a successful trade for the Mets. They have plenty of revenue to start with, their own TV station, a new stadium next year, and several big salaries are going off the books after the 2008 season: Delgado, Pedro, Alou, El Duque, and Billy Wagner goes off the books in 2009.
The Mets are in a position of financial flexibility from my perspective. Nice job Omar!
He’s here… and at a reasonable price. The Mets didn’t have to give up Fernando Martinez or Mike Pelfrey. This could work out to be Omar Minaya’s crowning achievement. Obviously, having the Wilpons checkbook helps but he still had to work the Twins down to four promising young players.
The Twins won’t know if this deal worked out for them for a few years. They have a new stadium coming too, but Carl Pohlad doesn’t empty the safe for players like the Wilpons do. Carlos Gomez should start in centerfield and Phil Humber should get more than a look for a spot in the rotation. I’m still surprised they couldn’t get more out of the Mets though.
I’ve read that the Mets are hesitant to offer Santana more than a five year deal. I think they have to look at the Barry Zito deal with the Giants, and then up the ante a little. The Giants set the bar pretty high but the Mets can exceed anything the Giants can do financially. Zito got 7 years for $126 million.
You’re in luck if you have tickets for opening day… Johan Santana vs. the Marlins in Florida. I’m sure tickets are available for that one. Maybe not for long though.
The waiting for Johan Santana seems to have reached the truly gaming stage. He isn’t signing with the Twins. We know that… he already turned down their initial offer. They just can’t afford to keep him.
The richest franchises in baseball are lurking in the weeds. The Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees are the only teams rumored to have any interest in meeting his salary demands. We don’t know exactly what those demands are, but it’s safe to assume that he’ll want Barry Zito money. Something in the neighborhood of 7 years and $125M would be about right for him. Who else could afford that? The Dodgers and Angels… maybe.
I say keep waiting. The price will go down after the season starts. The Mets have enough starting pitching to get things started, but will need to make a trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. I’m okay with Perez, Pedro, Maine, and El Duque. Maybe Pelfrey or Humber can work their way in as well. It’s not enough to scare the best teams in the league, but it can get us started.
Until then we’re stuck waiting for Godot. The pitcher that never comes.
You may have seen that the Mets reacquired Angel Pagan from the Cubs today. He was sent to the Cubs two years ago for cash. The Mets traded two minor leaguers to get him back.
This could very well be a precursor to another deal in my opinion. Having Pagan back could give the Mets the flexibility they need to trade Carlos Gomez.
The outfield is pretty crowded now with Beltan, Alou, Church, Gomez, Chavez, and Pagan. They all won’t be on the 25 man roster.
I’m thinking this frees up the Mets to move Gomez + to the Twins for Santana. We’ll see…