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Continued: Do the math: Twins, Santana a long ways off

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 21, 2007 - 7:17 PM

The current free agent pitching market is thin, but Santana isn't the only pitcher on the trade market. Teams also have inquired about Baltimore's Erik Bedard, Florida's Dontrelle Willis and Oakland's Joe Blanton and Dan Haren.

Unlike Santana, none of those others can become a free agent after 2008.

Smith has said he isn't afraid to take Santana into the season with the contract issue unresolved. The Twins could pair Santana with All-Star lefthander Francisco Liriano, hoping to rekindle their magic of 2006.

And if they fall from contention, they could always move Santana at the trade deadline.

Either way, unless Santana lowers his asking price considerably, the chances he'll remain with the Twins in 2009 seem increasingly remote.

Nathan discussions

Indications are the Twins also exchanged recent contract proposals with closer Joe Nathan.

Like Santana, Nathan is a free agent after 2008, so if the sides can't reach a deal, the Twins could begin entertaining trade offers on both fronts.

Mariano Rivera raised the bar for all closers when he signed his recent three-year, $45 million deal with the Yankees.

Joe Christensen •

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