Johan Santana is currently Elias‘ highest rated starting pitcher in the AL, ahead of the likes of C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, and Roy Halladay. He’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and the 2007 Gold Glove Award winner. He’s a three-time AL All-Star. He’s an incredible pitcher and probably the second best the Mets have ever had. Don’t forget about Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.
I’m thrilled that Santana’s a Met, but his contract frightens me and you should be scared too. Exceeding the $100 million mark hasn’t been done often in baseball, especially for pitchers with good reason. Look at the historical examples of Kevin Brown, Mike Hampton, and most recently Bary Zito. Do you think the Dodgers, Rockies, and Giants have been happy with the way those contracts worked out? I don’t either.
The Mets now have two players whose contracts exceed $100 million. This is nothing new to the likes of the Yankees, but breaking new ground for the Mets. Carlos Beltran isn’t the only mega millionaire in Queens now.
In the coming days we’ll look in depth at the performance of Brown, Hampton, and Zito. We’ll talk about the impact that the money has on players. It’s one thing to be scraping by on $14 million/year and quite another to have $137 million guaranteed for Santana. We’ll also look at the worst Mets current contracts and try to forget about the past transgressions of Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, and other high priced under performing Mets.