The Mets and Yankees have made it clear they will not meet the demands of Johan Santana's agents and sign the Twins' star lefthander to a seven-year contract calling for upwards of $140 million if they acquired Santana in a trade.

George Steinbrenner's son, Hank, who currently has the final say in Yankees matters, told me the other day they would not give any pitcher a contract for that many years.

The Mets never have given a player more than a five-year contract, and they would be averse to changing that policy.

The Red Sox have not made any comments about length of contract for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

However, the Red Sox surely are aware of Santana's career record in Fenway Park. He was 1-3 with a 6.89 ERA through 2006, and he didn't pitch there at all last year. Fenway Park never has been kind to southpaws.

So maybe the Twins' offer is a pretty good one. Santana will be paid $13.25 million in 2008 and the Twins offered him a four-year deal at $20 million or a total $80 million guaranteed. The Giants signed pitcher Barry Zito to a seven-year contract for $126 million last year, and the result was the former Oakland lefthander had an ordinary record of 11-13. The experience the Giants had might dissuade clubs from giving that type of contract to Santana.

No doubt the Twins have to be concerned about the huge multiyear contracts it will take to sign first baseman Justin Morneau and right fielder Michael Cuddyer and the big money they are paying catcher Joe Mauer. Then they have a big decision whether to sign the best relief pitcher in baseball -- Joe Nathan -- who will be a free agent after earning $6 million this year.

There currently is a lot of negativity when it comes to interest in the Twins, now that center fielder Torii Hunter has moved on to the Angels.

The Pohlad family could revive that interest overnight by finding a way to keep Santana. There will be a lot of unhappy fans if Santana is traded to the Mets for a bunch of prospects.

Owner Carl Pohlad found ways to keep Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett in Minnesota.

There has to be some way to keep Santana so he can anchor an extremely young pitching staff in 2008, especially because the Tigers, Indians, White Sox and even the Royals have improved their teams.

Some teams have used deferred contracts to retain their stars. Maybe that would work for the Twins and Santana.

Jefferson stars The Wolves have played three outstanding games in a row going into tonight's game in Boston against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics.

Al Jefferson said the recent success has been because the team didn't give up like it had in some games this season.

"We didn't get that game in Denver [a 111-108 loss Saturday]; we should have had it. It's all about not giving up," said Jefferson, who scored 39 points in Wednesday's 117-107 victory over Phoenix.

"Teams are too good in this league and so they're going to make runs. What we were doing is when they make a run, we put our heads down thinking it was over instead of just keep playing. So I think that's been the difference. Plus [good] defense, helping each other."

Jefferson said he knew he could get easy shots against the Suns if his teammates were a threat to hit outside shots and they were able to get open if Jefferson was double-teamed.

"We got guys open shots and I think in the fourth quarter, that was a time for me to really attack," Jefferson said. "Get my head down, get fouls and make them guys play defense. We've only got like 40-some games left. It's time to turn this thing around. Get our confidence up, get our team together and try to finish this season out."

It will be an interesting battle tonight in Boston when Jefferson, Ryan Gomes and Sebastian Telfair -- all former Celtics who came to the Wolves in the Garnett trade -- will start for coach Randy Wittman. Reserve Gerald Green also came to the Wolves in the trade.

Well, as bad as the Wolves' record is, it is interesting to note that Miami, with two future Hall of Fame players in Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade, has won only one more game than the Wolves.

Jottings Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is talking about two experiments that will take place in spring training. Mauer already has been fielding ground balls during the offseason in Florida, raising the possibility of him playing some first base this year. And right fielder Cuddyer might get a try in center field.

Being 31st or 32nd in the NFL in total revenue (either just ahead or behind Oakland), the Vikings will definitely raise ticket prices for the 2008 season, but how big an increase hasn't been decided. The 2008 schedule is impressive with the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants and last year's Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts on the home schedule.

John Nance, the Cretin-Derham Hall quarterback who committed early to Minnesota, recently visited Winona State, where he would play basketball instead of football. Apparently, Nance, who is an outstanding basketball player, too, has yet to decide whether to play football at Minnesota or basketball at Winona State.

Gophers basketball junior college recruit Paul Carter of Missouri State-West Plains recently had another double-double as his team beat State Fair Community College of Sedalia, Mo., to boost its record to 19-3.

Cole Konrad, the former Gophers NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion, is now involved in Greco-Roman wrestling and will be in Paris on Saturday for a big European event. Konrad, who finished fifth in a tournament at St. Petersburg, Russia, on Jan. 10, has matches scheduled in the near future in Norway and Serbia as he prepares for the Olympic trials. The Jets still are interested in Konrad as a football player after he impressed them in their rookie camp a year ago. But the Olympics are Konrad's big goal right now.

Nine Minnesotans made the top 100 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award given to the best player in college hockey. They are Burnsville's Luke Flicek, (Army), Minnetonka's Jack Hillen (Colorado College), Apple Valley's Matt Lundin (Mercyhurst), Faribault's Jamie McBain (Wisconsin), Warroad's T.J. Oshie (North Dakota), Eden Prairie's Chad Rau (Colorado College), Roseville's Mark Van Guilder (Notre Dame), Plymouth's Blake Wheeler (Minnesota) and Plymouth's Mike Zacharias (Minnesota State Mankato).

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast twice a week at