Twins pitcher Johan Santana began expressing his frustrations with the team’s front office yesterday, curious as to why the team didn’t make any significant moves at the trade deadline. Minnesota is now 55-51, 6 games back of the division-leading Detroit Tigers and 5 back of the Cleveland Indians for the Wildcard.
“You always talk about future, future. … But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won’t be part of it,” said Santana after the Twins traded away starting second baseman Jose Castillo to the Mets for a couple of minor league prospects. Though at first it appeared that Santana was merely stating his frustrations, he then took it a step further, possibly giving a hint to what his plans are for after next season.
“Why waste time when you’re talking about something that’s always going to be like that? It’s never going to be beyond this point,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense for me to be here, you know?” Santana will be a free agent after the 2008 season and will probably be in line to sign the richest contract for any pitcher in baseball history.
He is a 28-year old two-time Cy Young winner and won the pitchers’ triple crown last year by leading the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA. In the third year of a four-year $39.7 million contract that he signed in February 2005, he is currently 11-8 with a 2.92 ERA and 156 strikeouts.
The Twins are on schedule to move into a new ballpark for the 2009 season, one they would certainly like to open with Santana on the mound. However, with Torii Hunter a free agent after this season, the Twins are going to have to cough up a significant amount of money to keep the pitcher in town, along with Hunter. Santana’s recent comments make it seem like he is starting to open to the idea of leaving the Twins, the only Major League club he has played for.