Johan Santana took his physical examination in New York today and passed. The contract terms were finalized as a six year deal with a team option for a seventh year. The last year could become guaranteed based on performance marks. The total value of the contract could exceed $150 million.
Of course, the value of this contract seems ridiculous. The only method to determine Santana’s value is based on players with similar skills that have recently signed contracts. The closest source of comparison is Barry Zito and his 7 year $126 million contract. That had to be the starting point for the negotiations. In the end, the total value of Santana’s contract is relatively reasonable.
It’s not often that a team gets a shot at a 29 year old two-time Cy Young Award winner. As a matter of fact, it almost never happens. Most of the top performing pitchers that are still in their prime playing years (28-32) never get to free agency. Just look at the Padres contract extension with Jake Peavey. The Mets had to jump at this opportunity.
Even though the Mets will be married to Santana for longer than they probably wanted to be, I believe that it’ll be looked at a successful trade for the Mets. They have plenty of revenue to start with, their own TV station, a new stadium next year, and several big salaries are going off the books after the 2008 season: Delgado, Pedro, Alou, El Duque, and Billy Wagner goes off the books in 2009.
The Mets are in a position of financial flexibility from my perspective. Nice job Omar!