MLB Notebook: Santana might agree to trade from Twins
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As the Minnesota Twins enter the offseason seeking to fill several holes in the everyday lineup, two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana has indicated he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
"Everything about the Twins, I love," Santana said. "At the same time, if I have to go somewhere else, and it's for the better, I'll do it. I won't have any problems with that."
In 2008, Santana will enter the final season of a four-year, $39.5 million contract.
The Twins, who tried unsuccessfully to sign him to an extension in spring training, now must deal with Santana as well as free agents Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva while trying to fix an offense that was 25th in runs scored last season.
If the Twins don't like what the cost of greatness is -- Santana is 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA in his career -- they could approach the 28-year-old with a request for him to waive his no-trade clause. The package of players they could receive could fill needs at third base and elsewhere.
"As long as it makes sense," Santana said. "It's going to take for my agent and us to figure things out and make sure what is best for us."
Santana likely would reject a deal to any noncontender. And the Twins might need to be prepared to buy out the no-trade clause, which kicked in last year after Santana won his second Cy Young Award.
The young Arizona team, with their rallying cry "Anybody, Anytime," head into the division series with the best record in the National League. "In this day and age, I've never seen a team like this," said left fielder Eric Byrnes. "This is a group of unselfish guys. They think team first and not as a bunch of individuals. That's rare today in sports."
Chone Figgins was terrible to start the season, and finished in a funk. Los Angeles hopes he'll revert to midseason form for the playoffs, as one of baseball's best hitters. On May 28, Figgins was hitting .133. Since May 31, Figgins is hitting a major league-best .381, and helped get the Angels into the playoffs. Now Figgins will try to end an 0-for-22 end of season slump at the plate when the best-of-5 series opens tomorrow at Fenway Park.
Joe Borowski's appearances can be downright sickening for Cleveland fans. Although Cleveland's closer led the league with a career-high 45 saves, very few were of the 1-2-3 variety. "No, he doesn't come in and strike out the world," starting pitcher Paul Byrd said. "But he comes in and gets the job done."
Hideki Matsui will likely be a designated hitter when New York opens the playoffs Thursday at Cleveland. Matsui hit just .185 in September with two homers and 12 RBIs and had fluid drained from his right knee Sunday in New York.
Lou Piniella got the hard, cold facts nearly a year ago when he was introduced as the Cubs' manager. Told it was going on 99 years between World Series winners, Piniella seemed surprised. "Has it been that long here?" he asked.
First Published October 2, 2007 12:00 am