Twins agree to Santana deal
Minnesota would land four prospects in trade with Mets
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins and Mets have agreed to a deal that would send two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to New York in exchange for four prospects, an MLB official confirmed on Tuesday.The deal is contingent on the Mets and Santana reaching an agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension. Indications are that Santana is seeking a deal worth close to $150 million. The Mets and Santana have until 4 p.m. CT Friday to reach an agreement, a baseball official told The Associated Press, also on condition of anonymity. If an agreement is reached between the two sides, Santana is expected to waive his no-trade clause. The left-hander must also pass a physical to finalize the deal. The four prospects that the Twins would receive in the deal are outfielder Carlos Gomez and right-handed pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey. One notable name that was not included in the deal was the Mets' top prospect, outfielder Fernando Martinez. Earlier reports had been that the Twins were asking for Martinez in order to complete the deal. "We are hoping to bring some finality to this soon, but I have nothing to report yet," Twins general manager Bill Smith said Tuesday afternoon. Efforts by the Twins to complete a deal for Santana were stepped up in recent days due in part, according to some reports, to some pressure placed upon them by Santana and agent Peter Greenberg. Both sides seemed to want to get something done before the club headed to Spring Training next month. The trade would leave the Twins without their ace pitcher, who holds a 93-44 record in eight seasons. Since joining the rotation full-time in 2004, Santana has struck out at least 235 batters in each season. He was 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA for the Twins last season, which was considered to be a "down" year for the southpaw.
"It's never a good day to see one of the best pitchers in the league leave your team," Twins infielder Nick Punto said. "But in the other sense, you have to understand that it is a business and they have their ways of doing things. Sometimes it's going to better for the club in the long run."Already there has been mixed reaction to what the Twins are receiving back in the deal. Baseball America has ranked the four players among the Mets' top seven prospects, but some have argued that they aren't as Major League-ready as some of the talent the Red Sox and Yankees supposedly offered up in their deals. Gomez, 22, spent 58 games with the Mets last season and likely will fill the Twins' hole in center field. He's considered to be a five-tool player whose primary tools are his speed and above-average defense. There have been some questions concerning his offense during his four Minor League seasons as Gomez struck out 250 times in 1,251 at-bats with just a .339 on-base percentage during that span. Humber, 25, is the only other prospect in the deal that has seen time in the Majors. The Mets' first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft has made five appearances for the Mets, including one start, over the past two seasons. He went 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans last year, his first full season since undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2005. Mulvey spent most of last season at Double-A Binghamton and was 11-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 26 starts there. Guerra, a 6-foot-5 right-hander out of Venezuela, struck out 66 batters while amassing a 4.01 ERA in 89 2/3 innings for Class A Port St. Lucie of the Florida State League. He will turn 19 in April. Despite the concerns voiced by some, one person who said he felt the Twins made out pretty well in the deal was former Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Braves. "I think Carlos Gomez has a chance to be a fantastic player," Glavine said of his former teammate. "You hear a lot about five-tool guys and he's definitely a legit five-tool guy. Humber, the same way, has a great arm and great potential. Long-term, this could be a very good trade for the Twins."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.