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Santana ends talks with Twins

FishFanInPA

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The Twins may be fighting a losing battle in their efforts to extend Johan Santana's four-year, $40 million contract, which expires at the end of next season. A league source told SI that Minnesota recently offered to add two years to the deal, at around $18 million per season, plus a club option for 2011. That offer, however, falls well short of the seven-year, $126 million figure that Barry Zito received from the Giants this winter and virtually assures that Santana, the Koufax of his generation, will be the hottest free agent in the class of '08. Having set this past Opening Day as his deadline for securing a new deal, Santana has told the Twins that he won't negotiate again until he hits the open market -- when, it should be added, he will only be 29.

The more immediate concern to the Twins, though, is the rest of their starting five, which features one promising youngster (Boof Bonser) and three veteran journeymen (Carlos Silva, Ramon Ortiz and Sidney Ponson). "Every year you have question marks," says G.M. Terry Ryan. "Last year it was the position players, especially on the left side of the infield. This year it's the rotation."

As he did last season, when he patched holes in the lineup with such retreads as Tony Batista and Rondell White, Ryan has invited scrutiny by choosing veteran mediocrity over a promising cast of youngsters that includes hard-throwing righty Matt Garza. But there are reasons to give Ryan, who has a well-earned reputation as a player-development mastermind, the benefit of the doubt.

1) For a budget-conscious franchise like the Twins, service time is a vital consideration. Identifying when a prospect is ready to make a valuable contribution in the majors can mean another productive season before the player hits free agency. The extra seasoning for Garza and others could prove beneficial for everyone.

2) A $71 million payroll, not high for a franchise with a largely taxpayer-funded new stadium opening in 2010, limits Ryan's choices. It's not as if Ryan wasn't interested in higher-caliber starters during the off-season. The front office eyed, among others, Gil Meche but backed off when the market got out of hand. "I think it's important to know who you are," says Ryan, who's never complained about his budgets. "You know what the resources are. You know what the revenues are."

3) It's a very small sample, but the Twins got impressive outings last week from Ortiz and Bonser (the underrated third piece of the Heist of the Decade that also brought Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano from San Francisco for A.J. Pierzynski). Both pitched wonderfully in wins over the Orioles, and Silva pitched solidly in a loss to the White Sox. With the game's deepest bullpen (a 2.91 ERA in '06, best in baseball), the starters usually only need to get into the sixth to have a chance.

4) The Twins still have Santana, who pitched seven innings of one-hit ball against the White Sox on Sunday. If he goes 18--6 (his average record the past three seasons), he'll have a four-year mark of 73-25, very close to Pedro Martinez's 77-25 from 1997 through 2000. Despite the recent setback in negotiations, the Twins aren't abandoning hope that they can get a deal done with their ace.

And why not? Surprising results are their trademark.
 

The_Godfather

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The Twins are stupid. They need to ask Santana what he wants then give him 10% more and sign the man. Same thing we need to do with Cabs. Players like these are rare and worth the money.
 

JetsMania

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I dont want to see how much Santana would get from the yankees if he became a free agent.
 

El Guapo

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Can't wait to see this guy in a Yankee uniform....
 

Jimmy42Jack0

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Can't wait to see this guy in a Yankee uniform....
if that happens, i hope he blows out his arm signing his contract...how ironic would that be?
 

MarlinFan10

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This guy is going to get paid big time, way too much for the Twins.
 

Iowa

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I could see the Cubs shell out the money
 

Das Texan

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so basically the twins are telling johan to take a hometown discount or walk.


its not like pohland is scrapping for cash.

I could see the Cubs shell out the money



so could los angeles.
 

Jimmy42Jack0

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so basically the twins are telling johan to take a hometown discount or walk.


its not like pohland is scrapping for cash.

I could see the Cubs shell out the money



so could los angeles.
if johan has any desire to play in nyc whatsoever, thats where he will play...the yankees would go above and beyond any offer by alot to ensure he is in nyc
 

Mauer7

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Watch Theo (Epstein) sign him...that'd be soo sweet.
 

CYmarlins

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i hope somehow he still stays with the Twins, it just suits him better there.
 

Dodge

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I have a sneaky feeling the Mets would really go for this cat. Imagine what his ERA would be in the NL....
 

Jimmy42Jack0

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I have a sneaky feeling the Mets would really go for this cat. Imagine what his ERA would be in the NL....
good point...and id really hate that...
 

The_Godfather

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I really hope he doesn't hit the FA market. The bidding is going to be absolutely absurd and disgusting. I don't even want to say the type of numbers I'm imagining because of how stupid they will look,but take the highest you could imagine and thats about what I think he could get.
 

Das Texan

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imagine what his ERA would be like in Dodger stadium.
 

yankeefan21

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Can't wait to see this guy in a Yankee uniform....
if that happens, i hope he blows out his arm signing his contract...:|
 

catchoftheday

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I have a sneaky feeling the Mets would really go for this cat. Imagine what his ERA would be in the NL....

that's what I think, a battle in NY for him
 

Real_Teal

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I have a sneaky feeling the Mets would really go for this cat. Imagine what his ERA would be in the NL....

that's what I think, a battle in NY for him

I completely agree. The Mets have climbed into the top 3 payroll positions and are continuiung to open up the checkbooks. In three years or so they may actually have the highest payroll.
 

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