Watching the All-Star Game with the sound off last night (Buck and McCarver bore through my skull with their idiocy and then spit in the holes with their ignorance), I was struck by how nice it is to root for a team with Johan Santana on the mound.
I know Aaron Gleeman disagrees, but I think Gleeman has a better chance of dropping another 90 pounds on the old elliptical machine than the Twins do of keeping Santana beyond 2008. And Goddamn, Johan would look pretty in pinstripes.
If the Cubs don't lock up Carlos Zambrano because of their ownership issues, there will be plenty of talk centering around the Yankees signing Big Z. Thanks, but no thanks. Dude's a psycho, and I don't trust him to keep his composure on the mound in big spots. He's a horse, but he's self-destructive, and New York would eat him alive.
Yo-Yo, on the other hand, is the best pitcher alive, and the Yankees have the cash to blow other offers out of the water. They'll have Pavano, Mussina and Farnsworth coming off the books after '08, and the Giambino after '09, so they should have plenty of cash to pay Johan more than what he's worth, provided they don't make a lot of stupid, Igawian mistakes between now and then.
Even with the new ballpark pending, I don't see Carl Pohlad, who's always happy to have his team contracted for a few million dollars, opening up the coffers for Santana when he'll still have Francisco Liriano, Matt Garza, Scott Baker, Boof Bonser and Kevin Slowey under his control for much cheaper. A new, outdoor stadium (with about 5-10 snow-outs annually) won't change the Twins' market size, or their owner's douchefuckerness. Plus, the Yankees will have a new ballpark of their own to unveil, and they'll want a brand new center-ring attraction to showcase on its opening day.
Santana, Hughes, Wang, Chamberlain, Kennedy in '09. Let's make this happen. At 29, Santana will be the old man on the most promising, young staff in baseball.