Thursday, September 20, 2007

Santana Staying in Minnie?

According to Charley Walters of the Pioneer-Press, Johan Santana is on the verge of purchasing "a multi-million dollar home" in the wealthy Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie. In late July, the same type of story emerged regarding New York's most elusive superstar.

Back then, it was Alex Rodiguez and a report that he was eyeing a $25 million estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. A-Rod quickly denied the rumors, stating he had not been looking at houses and that anyone assuming otherwise was mistaken.

Does this mean that Santana is planning to remain in the Twin Cities for the forseeable future? Or are another group of fans being duped by rumor and speculation? There is also the possibility that Santana does not want to dislodge his wife and two children from the area they've grown accustomed to. Johan probably assumes, and rightfully so, that once his free agent contract comes through he'll have enough dough for a palace in every zipcode.

There were already rumblings about what it would take to acquire Santana, should the Twinkies decide to move him. Buster Olney opined that the Yankees would have to give up Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in order to make that happen. But a Winter acquisition or mid-season trade doesn't guarantee Johan won't take off once he becomes a free-agent.

And who's to say that Minnesota would allow potential trading partners a 72 hour window with which to negotiate a contract extension. Giving up a boatload of high-ceiling prospects for a Summer of Santana would leave a pretty bad taste in the mouth of many GMs.

Unless Minnesota shocks the baseball world by extending Santana before his impending free agency, all signs point to the usual suspects - Yanks, Mets, Red Sox - battling to the death for the southpaw's services.

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