By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater December 5, 2007 at 3:45AM
By the time you read this, Johan Santana could be a member of the Boston Red Sox. I can't believe it's gotten to this point, but I guess it's inevitable when a superstar finds himself on a "smaller market" team with an expiring contract. The Minnesota Twins did offer their two-time Cy Young Award-winning ace pitcher a 4-year extension after 2008 worth $80 million (making it $93 mill for the next 5 years in other words), but perhaps the best starting pitcher in baseball knows he can probably get up to $25 million for 5 or 6 years from Boston, NY, or California.
Perhaps the fact that free agent All-Star centerfielder Torii Hunter--a 7-time Gold Glove winner and the face of the franchise for over a decade--left over Thanksgiving to sign with the Angels for more years and more bucks didn't help any. But you would think with a brand new stadium on the way and Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Rookie of the Year runner-up Delmon Young (who just came over in a trade with Tampa for promising young pitcher Matt Garza) on the team, that would be enough for Santana to stay put.
But not signing the extension is a clear sign that he's not interested in staying in Minnesota, so the Twins have no choice but to get something in return for him now. I'd much rather have him go to the Yankees so the Twins could get Philip Hughes and Melky Cabrera in return (and other than New Englanders and "Red Sox Nation," who the hell wants Boston to have a one-two punch of Santana and Beckett?), but the Boss' idiotic son, Hank, talked tough and tried to give the Twins a Monday midnight deadline to make a deal--what a moron! So now Minnesota will probably end up sending him to the Yankees' arch rival, who have already won two World Series in the last four years. Can you say dynasty?
All I can hope is that the Twins better get a young starter (Lester or Bucholz), Jacob Ellsbury and not Coco Crisp (he of the great name and pathetic bat), and another hot prospect in the deal. Whether or not they can still compete in the tough AL Central without Torii, Johan, and maybe ace closer Joe Nathan (also in the final year of his contract) remains to be seen. I hate the word "rebuilding."