Thursday, December 27, 2007

Surprise! Twins May Keep Johan

Johan Santana may be heading nowhere, and for a long time at that. The Pioneer Press reports the Twins front office is seriously considering retaining Santana, though a significant raise from their initial $93 million offer (including his 2008 salary) would be necessary.

The trade talks with both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are stalemated, however, the President of the Minnesota Twins told the St. Paul Pioneer Press Wednesday the team is serious about keeping Johan Santana in the Twin Cities.

The Twins have offered Santana, who already is guaranteed $13 million for 2008, an additional four years for a guaranteed $80 million. That contract would make Santana the highest-paid pitcher in baseball with a multi year deal.

"That remains our goal, our first choice, and I'm not going to veer from that," Minnesota team president Dave St. Peter said. "We are comfortable with that scenario if that's the best thing for the Twins' organization. Right now, Johan Santana is our opening night starter against the Los Angeles Angels and Torii Hunter, and I like our chances (of winning)."

This is no shock, especially considering the strong possibility the Yankees have pulled Phil Hughes off the table and the Red Sox were only in the sweepstakes to up the ante. Last night, Minnesota columist La Velle Neal described the Santana talks as "dormant," and not just due to the impending holiday.

Barring the Mets offering Reyes or Wright or a huge bundle of prospects - or a mystery team like the Angels sweeping in - Minnesota may shock everyone and actually pony up the money for one of their no longer cost controlled stars.

Unfortunately, the idea that the best move for Twins GM Bill Smith is no move at all is hard to buy. There is certainly the possibility that the Twins are worried they've scared off their best suitors and are using the threat of signing Santana long term to bring them back to the table.

Some resolution to this ridiculous coup would be nice, hopefully it comes early in the new year.

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