PORT ST. LUCIE -- Some 25 months after Twins didn't accommodate their two-time Cy Young Award pitcher and traded him to the Mets, they have satisfied their three-time batting champion and one-time American League MVP. And for that, Johan Santana salutes his former employers and sends a long distance high five to Joe Mauer.
"Good for him and good for them," Santana said Monday morning after word of Mauer's $184 million, eight-year contract extension with the Twins reached the Mets' training camp. "I'm happy for him."
No second thoughts were expressed by the pitcher who agreed to a six-year $137.5 million deal with the Mets on Feb. 2, 2008, before approving the trade. No regrets about his move to the Mets, he said. And his feelings about what might have developed in the Minneapolis are unchanged by the Mauer's windfall.
"They have a new ballpark, new revenues," Santana said. "He's a hometown hero. It makes all good sense. You go back a few years, every time we were a few players away and [the Twins] would develop two or three good players to fill in. But then someone [Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones or myself] would leave, and we'd be a few players away again. It could have been something if everyone could have stayed. It's been pretty good anyway."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.