Newsday resurrects last week's Johan Santana story that the Mets could have Santana if only they included 19-year-old OF Fernando Martinez along with OF Carlos Gomez, and SPs Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey. With the Yankees signalling they are out, do the Twins really believe the Mets are market-unsaavy? If there is less demand, why would the Mets pay more?
Like the horse at the edge of the water that is still being beat despite it no longer being alive, any team acquiring Santana has to give him the biggest contract ever for a starting pitcher and then bear all the risk that he is injured before it even kicks-in for 2009. We are not talking fantasy baseball where the current season counts more than future ones, and one can just roll the dice that whatever is paid for Santana won't matter that far into the future..
The team that gets Santana cannot just walk away in 2009 because Santana was hurt or less effective like a fantasy team would. They must pay him no matter what he does. This has the chance to make Santana's new team dream longingly for a Carl Pavano contract.
The best situation for any of the three teams is to have the Twins keep Santana. Then those three could compete next winter for Santana's services after the certainty that he finishes 2008 as healthy as ever. If he doesn't, then the amount of money saved to sign him will be in the tens of millions. Think Carlos Zambrano versus Barry Zito. Just a few weeks of inexplicable ineffectiveness on Santana's part will cause all potential suitors to pause.
Who wants to know they have already committed $140+MM when that occurs. Nevermind, the four players surrendered for the right to have that sinking feeling.