The Johan Santana deal became official on Friday, only after a 2-hour extension was given to the Mets so they could continue talks with the pitcher. The contract he got goes as follows:

Year Salary (in millions)
2008 19
2009 20
2010 21
2011 22.5
2012 24
2013 25.5
2014 (option) 25


in total, it’s worth $150 million over 7 years, crushing Barry Zito‘s contract of 7 years, $126 million for the biggest pitcher contract ever. Which is no surprise, considering Zito hasn’t won 2 Cy Young awards in a 3-year span. It’s good that everything is finally settled, and everybody can focus on Spring Training (just 2 weeks until pitchers and catchers report!).


Former Twin catcher Chris Heintz was signed by the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. His stats for the team last year: .232 batting average, .267 on-base percentage, and a .268 slugging percentage. In comparison, Nick Punto‘s line was .210/.291/.271.


The Twins seem to be interested in veteran pitcher Josh Fogg, formerly of the Colorado Rockies. He’s 31, and can be good for about 30 starts a year. In the past 3 years he’s compiled a 4.75 ERA in games not played in Coors Field, a.k.a a hitter’s best friend. He’s not going to strikeout a ton of guys, a la Santana, but he’s got a career record of 60 wins and 60 losses. Basically, I would compare a signing of this nature to the signings of Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz. Veteran, fairly washed-up (although none of them were studs at any point in their careers), and basically no future. The team would sign Fogg only as a dependable innings-eater, especially with such a young pitching staff (nobody over 26).


In deals-the-team-should’ve-been-done news, third basemen Dallas McPherson and Morgan Ensberg have been signed by the Marlins and Yankees, respectively. McPherson was signed to a 1-year deal worth the league minimum, he’s 27, and hit a combined 40 HR in 135 games split between AA and AAA in 2004. 2005 and 2006 were spent with the Angels at the ML level, and it was clear that improvement was needed. He had back surgery last season and did not play. Ensberg was a potential target at the trade deadline last season but nothing was ever done. He signed a minor league deal and with Alex Rodriguez shoring up 3B in NY for quite some time, Ensberg’s best bet is to be a backup at 1B.

And, as sad as it is to say this, Juan Gonzalez is likely to sign a deal with the Cardinals in the coming days, also a minor league deal. Juan Gone had 1 AB in the Majors in 2005, and hasn’t played regularly since 2001 (including not at all in 2006 and 2007). But face it, 464 career homers would’ve looked awfully good at the DH position for the team last season. I’m sold on Jason Kubel surprising everyone this year, and Gonzalez is too old to play in the field, so I’m not an advocate of the team making a move for him, which isn’t happening anyway so I guess there’s no worry.


As far as free agent CFs go, it really isn’t worth it at this point. To throw money at a 1-year stopgap just doesn’t seem to be the answer right now. Carlos Gomez, Jason Pridie, and Denard Span can battle it out in Spring Training. Hopefully a (clear) winner will emerge, somebody that shows they are ready to play at the best level. Chances are either Gomez or Pridie will win it and Span will spend his much-needed second year roaming the outfield in Rochester.


In Superbowl news, the Giants upset the Patriots last night in what many are already calling one of the best Superbowls ever. I was able to watch the whole game, and it was certainly a game, instead of the blowout most people were expecting. A few meaningless records were set, such as most plays on opening drive (16, set by Giants) and most 3rd down conversions on opening drive (I think the Giants set the record at 3, and then converted another one for 4). Patriots receiver Wes Welker had 11 receptions, tying the record for most in the SB. And there were 3 4th quarter lead changes, the most ever. Eli played pretty good, but a catch by David Tyree (a catch that involved him trapping the ball to his helmet, of all things) helped save the drive. Not to mention a 45-yard catch and run by the slowest guy in the league, Kevin Boss, brought the team near the endzone. If you had enough guts to bet with the Giants, you probably won big. And through it all, the Patriots end their season at 18-1.


I wonder if the people who preordered the 19-0 book will get a refund…