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Twins ace gets $40M

Jose Canseco's book accuses several teammates of steroid use.

By wire services
Published February 15, 2005


MINNEAPOLIS - AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana and the Twins agreed Monday to a $40-million, four-year contract.

The left-hander, 25, who had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing today, must past a physical before the deal can be finalized.

Santana, who led the league with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts last season, become the first Venezuelan to win the Cy Young Award and the AL's first unanimous winner since Pedro Martinez in 2000.

"Definitely, it's something that we were looking for," Santana said from Fort Myers, where he owns a home near the team's spring complex. "It's good to know that I'll be in a Twins uniform for four more years."

Santana set a Twins record by winning 13 in a row. He didn't lose in 15 starts after the All-Star break, going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA to help Minnesota win its third straight AL Central title.

Santana, who would have been eligible for free agency after the 2006 season, had asked for a raise from $1.6-million to $6.8-million and had been offered $5-million.

Canseco book sells fast

Jose Canseco's autobiography accusing several top players of steroid use and charging that baseball long ignored peformance-enhancing drugs appeared to be a hit on its first day in bookstores.

Amazon.com listed Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big as third on its bestseller list.

"In terms of his accusations, the only people that know are him and whoever he is accusing," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "The unfortunate thing is, if it's not true, you're looking at guys having to defend themselves over something they haven't done."

Jeter added that he's willing to accept Jason Giambi's apology for the distractions he caused. Without admitting that he used steroids, Giambi apologized last week to his teammates, fans and the media.

"We're here to support him," Jeter said. "When you're a team, everyone is one family."

RAYS SIGN SOSA: The Devil Rays came to terms with their seventh and last player eligible for arbitration when they signed right-hander Jorge Sosa to a one-year deal worth about $650,000, with $50,000 available in incentives.

Sosa, who made $327,500 last season, had asked for $925,000. Tampa Bay offered $550,000. The arbitration hearing was scheduled for Friday. The Rays have had one arbitration hearing in their history, defeating pitcher Esteban Yan in 2002.

Sosa, 26, appeared in 43 games and made eight starts last season. He was 4-7 with a 5.53 ERA, struck out 94 and walked 54 in 991/3 innings.

OBITUARY: Nellie Briles, who won two World Series titles during a 14-year career as a control pitcher, died Sunday of an apparent heart attack during a Pirates alumni golf tournament in Orlando. He was 61. Mr. Briles went 129-112, 3.44, during a career spent mostly with the Cardinals and Pirates.

METS: Right-hander Todd Van Poppel agreed to a minor-league contract and plans to join the team at spring training this week.

PADRES: Former Devil Ray Robert Fick is close to finalizing a minor-league contract that would pay him $450,000 if he's added to the major-league roster. Fick batted .201 in 76 games for the Rays last season before his release in August.

REDS: Ken Griffey reported to training camp in Sarasota, getting an early start on his latest comeback from a severe injury. Griffey was enjoying a renaissance until he hurt his right hamstring in July. He tore it a month later, ending his season.

--Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.