Sunday, February 3, 2008
Mets, Twins Finalize Santana Deal
One of AL's best gets $137M package The New York Mets needed an extension in order to work out the details, but by Friday night, it was official: Johan Santana, who led the AL in strikeouts in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and has 983 Ks over the past four seasons, makes the move from the AL to the NL. In addition to being a stellar strikeout pitcher, Santana also lays claim to the 2004 and 2006 Cy Young awards and also led the American League in ERA in those years: 2.61 in '04 and 2.77 in '06. The Mets have fallen just short of greatness the past two seasons, losing the NLCS to the Cardinals in 2006, and then blowing a 7-game lead in the final 17 games to miss the playoffs last season. Whether Santana is the answer to the Mets woes will be interesting to watch in 2008. With a team loaded with talent, including Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and David Wright, Billy Wagner and Pedro Martinez, the Mets should take the field opening day as the odds-on choice to finally capture the National League flag. Voluntary Spring Training for pitchers & catchers begins on February 14 - in just 11 days. The mandatory reporting date for all players is February 26.