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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Santana Special

Minnesota Twins management and fans must be in the throes of off-season orgasm right about now. The numbers on the Santana deal are being reported as 4 years, $40 million. That's $10 million a year. For comparison, here's what some merely mortal pitchers have signed for this winter:

Pitcher Age Team Years Total $ $ Per Year
Carl Pavano, SP 29 NY Yankees 4 $39,950,000 $9,987,500
Brad Radke, SP 32 Minnesota 2 18,000,000 9,000,000
Derek Lowe, SP 31 Los Angeles 4 36,000,000 9,000,000
Eric Milton, SP 29 Cincinnati 3 25,500,000 8,500,000
Matt Clement, SP 30 Boston 3 25,500,000 8,500,000
Russ Ortiz, SP 30 Arizona 4 33,000,000 8,250,000
Odalis Perez, SP 27 Los Angeles 3 24,000,000 8,000,000
Kris Benson, SP 30 NY Mets 3 22,500,000 7,500,000
Kevin Millwood, SP 30 Cleveland 1 7,000,000 7,000,000
Jaret Wright, SP 29 NY Yankees 3 21,000,000 7,000,000
Jon Lieber, SP 34 Philadelphia 3 21,000,000 7,000,000
Paul Wilson, SP 31 Cincinnati 2 8,200,000 4,100,000
Orlando Hernandez, SP 35 Chicago Sox 2 8,000,000 4,000,000
Cory Lidle, SP 32 Philadelphia 2 6,300,000 3,150,000

That's an average of $7,213,392.86 per year for the bunch, even with the lower salaries for Wilson, Orlando Hernandez, and Lidle. An average of less than three million dollars per year less than Santana signed for. And none of those guys are anywhere near the pitcher that Santana is. The best deals in the bunch are Radke, Clement, Odalis Perez, and Hernandez.

How about the contracts that a couple of once-immortal pitchers signed, guys who should also be out-performed by Santana both in 2005 and over the length of his contract?

Pitcher Age Team Years Total $ $ Per Year
Roger Clemens, SP 42 Houston 1 $18,000,000 $18,000,000
Pedro Martinez, SP 33 NY Mets 4 53,000,000 13,250,000

The Santana deal by the Twins is far and away the best deal for pitching any team got this winter. It was probably the single best deal for a team signed with any player this winter.

Twins fans, rejoice. The savings from the Santana deal should allow your team to remain competitive for at least the length of his contract.


Gazetteer said...

Oh to be a 4 and 40 man at the age of, what, 26?


MackJohnny said...

Yeah, he'll be 26 when the season starts. Just entering his prime as a player. One more reason to shake our heads in wonder at how sweet a deal the Twins got in comparison to the other pitchers I mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I must tip my hat to Santana who has clearly shown that money is not the most important thing in baseball for him. It is obvious that barring a cataclysmic injury or complete meltdown that next year as a free agent Santana would have garnered interest from every major player in free agecy and signed a deal well in excess of what he got. Certainly a 15 million per year for a solid 6 to 8 years would have not been ridiculous especially in light of the other contracts you highlight John. Now the only question remains how high would you draft him in fantasy baseball next year.

Oh yeah and shocking news on the spring training front already. Pedro and Ken Griffey have arrived at their respective spring training camps EARLY.

MackJohnny said...

I'm assuming you're the same Anonymous who commented on the other Santana post.

I have to disagree, and say that while I don't think $15 million a year would be a ridiculous price to pay Santana, but I thinking signing him to a 6 or 8 year contract would be silly. Just too many things can go wrong over that length of time.

I'd also like to point that I love fantasy baseball, but that it is not the be-all and end-all of my baseball appreciation; that it has, in fact, made my appreciation of the game greater.

By this I mean, that in my search for ways to win at fantasy ball I was driven to researching ways of evaluating players and teams that would give me an edge.

This led me to discover the wealth of sabermetric analysis which exists on the web; while digging into that analysis in attempt to understand it, and thereby understand what aspects of players' abilities were most important to their success and by extension to their teams' success, some of the scales fell from my eyes, so to speak, and I gained a firmer grasp on the game of baseball than I had ever had.

As far as drafting Santana goes: in a standard 5 x 5 roto league, I'd say he should be taken with the 12th to 14th pick overall.

MackJohnny said...

10th to 14th pick, I mean.

Anonymous said...

the mack daddy said: "
I have to disagree, and say that while I don't think $15 million a year would be a ridiculous price to pay Santana, but I thinking signing him to a 6 or 8 year contract would be silly. Just too many things can go wrong over that length of time."

Of course you would think signing him to a 6 or 8 year contract would be silly but my point was that one of the major players in mlb would sign him to that deal. My point being that if Santana had decided to become a free agent next year he would have been able to sign a longer term deal for more money.

MackJohnny said...

My apologies if I misread your comment above.