Thanks to those who have been checking in.
The biggest baseball news since we last posted was the signing of Torii Hunter by the Angels. Two keys here for the Tribe. It takes Hunter out of the division. It also puts an end to nasty rumors that Hunter would end up with the White Sox, or even Kansas City.
Bigger news for the Tribe? Johan Santana has decided that a four-year extension at an average of $20 million per is not enough.
Santana wants a six-year extension. Santana will be 29 when the season starts, so he'd be 35 when a six-year contract ends. Plus you have to assume that $20 million per is a bit short of Santana's mark as well.
So what will a certain lefty who is nearly a year-and-a-half younger than Santana and beat the Twins' lefty three times this past season command?
It's true that the Indians are a top-tier team that has invested in its key players, while the Twins are coming apart. Torii Hunter is gone and closer Joe Nathan is talking about splitting after next season. So Santana has a much bigger incentive than CC to leave his current situtation.
Whether CC will be looking around the locker room at his talented mates or looking at dollar signs at decision time, only time will tell.
In other Central Division news:
- The White Sox made a big upgrade in their pen by signing Scott Linebrink, but unless there's more to come it's little more than a finger-in-the-dike move.
- The Royals are making Jose Guillen - steroid allegations and all - their number one priority after losing out on Hunter. The are also said to already have a deal in place with Japanese reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta and are chasing after the top starting pitcher coming out of Japan this year, Hiroki Kuroda.