he New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.
The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.
The Mets paid a high price in prospects to land Santana, agreeing to send the Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.
The deal would give the Mets the much-needed ace at the front of their rotation. Santana won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006 and is 93-44 lifetime. He went 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA for the Twins last season. Santana has struck out at least 235 batters each of the past four seasons.
While the deal drains much of the talent out of the Mets' farm system, they did manage to hold on to top prospect Fernando Martinez, an outfielder. Instead, they headed the package with Gomez, who turned 22 in December and spent 58 games with the Mets last year.
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Gomez is what scouts like to call a five-tool player, a combination of offensive ability that includes power and speed as well as an above-average defensive game and a strong arm. He has worked to cut down a strikeout rate that was high during the early part of a minor league career that began in 2004 after the Mets signed him out of the Dominican Republic. He made his major league debut last May and hit .232.
Humber, 25, is the Mets' 2004 first-round pick who has made five major league appearances, including one start, over the past two seasons. He won 11 games at Class AAA last season, his first full year after having Tommy John surgery in 2005.
Santana would give the Mets the best rotation in the NL East after they missed out on the division title by one game thanks to a historic September collapse. He'd likely be joined by Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.
The Twins, meanwhile, would see yet another young star they produced leave the organization. Their Gold Glove outfielder, Torii Hunter, left for the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. Gomez would be a candidate to replace him in center field.