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Was Saturday a preview of Santana's future?

Posted at 10:54 AM on June 25, 2007 by Steve Rudolph

On Saturday, Johan Santana recorded his eighth win and became the first Twins pitcher to hit a triple since the designated hitter came into play in 1973.

Watching Santana mow down weak National League lineups and hit for extra bases off their pitchers the past few games has me wondering if he won’t bolt for the Senior Circuit after next season.

Unlike most pitchers, Santana can swing the bat. Aaron Gleeman probably captured it best when he wrote, “Not only has Santana shown 50 percent more power than Jason Tyner during their respective careers, he's sporting a higher batting average than Punto and Luis Rodriguez.”

When he hits the open market after the 2008 season, Santana can conservatively command a deal in the neighborhood of $120 million over six years. Even with a new stadium, the Twins won’t have a chance to approach that figure.

While the Yankees and Red Sox will top the list of the usual suspects bidding for Santana’s services, he won’t end up with either. Instead, on opening day 2009 I expect we’ll find Johan Santana batting ninth for a National League contender.

June 2007
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