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Mets acquire two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana02/02/2008 4:30 PM ET
FLUSHING, N.Y. -- The New York Mets today signed left-handed pitcher Johan Santana, the two-time Cy Young Award winner, to the largest contract for a pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball. The contract will put Santana, whom the Mets acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, in a Mets uniform through 2013 with a vesting player option or club option for 2014. Santana will appear at a major press conference at Shea Stadium next week before joining the Mets at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. the following week.
"We are very happy to bring Johan Santana, one of baseball's elite pitchers, to the Mets," said Omar Minaya, General Manger, New York Mets. "This deal is a statement to our fans from Ownership and the front office on our commitment to putting a talented team on the field to win a championship. This truly was a team effort and would not have happened without Jeff Wilpon's involvement in the negotiations. His creativity and business expertise helped us address and resolve many of the key issues in the negotiation. Jeff and I thank Tony Bernazard, John Ricco, the entire baseball department, and legal counsel David Cohen for their work to get this historic deal done with Peter Greenberg, Johan's agent, and his staff."
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to come and play for the New York Mets," said Santana. "New York has always been one of my favorite cities. I'm looking forward to helping the Mets bring a World Series trophy back to Queens. I want to thank the Mets owners - Fred Wipon, Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon - Omar Minaya and my agents - Peter Greenberg, Ed Greenberg, Chris Leible - for their hard work in making this all happen."
"Securing one of the best pitchers in the game -- in his prime -- ranks among the most important acquisitions in Mets history," said Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer, New York Mets. "This agreement demonstrates our continued commitment toward fielding a championship caliber team and reflects what we believe Johan brings to our franchise and our fans. Today's announcement is the result of the smarts, hard work, flexibility, and tenacity of Omar, our baseball operations staff, Johan, and his agents."
Santana, who will turn 29 on March 13, has been an All-Star for the past three seasons dating back to 2005. A two-time Cy Young Award winner (2004, 2006), he is one of just 14 pitchers in Major League history to earn multiple Cy Young Awards. He also garnered his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award last season.
Santana is 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA in 251 career games and started 175 games with the Twins. In 1,308.2 innings, he's allowed 1,068 hits, 500 runs, 468 earned, with 364 walks and 1,381 strikeouts. He has held opposing batters to a .221 career batting average against him.
He led the American League in strikeouts for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons before he finished second last year with 235. Santana won 15 games and had a 3.33 ERA in 33 starts in 2007. The opposition swung and missed at 27.6 percent of his pitches in 2007, the highest percentage in the AL. He was also third in strikeouts per nine innings (9.66) and fifth with a 2.95 road ERA last season.
In 2006, he won the pitching Triple Crown, leading the American League in wins (19), strikeouts (245) and ERA (2.77). In addition, Johan led the AL in innings pitched (233.2), starts (34), and opponents' batting average (.216) that season.
Johan is 16-4 with 2.27 ERA in 35 games against National League clubs. He has held NL opponents to a .187 batting average. In 182.2 innings, he's yielded 121 hits, 49 runs, 46 runs, 46 walks and 191 strikeouts. At Shea Stadium, he has allowed one earned run in 15.0 career innings (0.60 ERA) and with a 2-0 record.
Santana posted a 16-7 mark with a 2.87 ERA with 238 strikeouts in 231.2 innings in 2005 and was 20-6 with an American League leading 2.61 ERA with 265 strikeouts in 228.0 innings in 2004.
Santana has hurled 219 or more innings four straight years and has fanned 235 or more batters in each of those seasons. Johan has compiled 39 career games with 10 or more strikeouts. His career high came last year when he fanned 17 batters on August 19 vs. Texas.
MULTIPLE UNANIMOUS CY YOUNG AWARDS
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