Baseball notebook

Santana, Mets agree to terms

Ace gets 6 years, $137.5 million

Johan Santana is now the game's highest-paid pitcher. Johan Santana is now the game's highest-paid pitcher. (MARC DUNCAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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Associated Press / February 2, 2008

Johan Santana is a money pitcher, and the New York Mets are paying for it.

Santana and the Mets agreed last night to a $137.5 million, six-year contract, a record for a pitcher and the last major step needed to complete the team's blockbuster trade with Minnesota.

After the sides were granted an extra two hours to work on a deal, the Mets announced about 30 minutes before the new 7 p.m. deadline that negotiations had concluded. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was scheduled to take a physical today.

Terms of the agreement were disclosed by a baseball official with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The deal includes an $18.75 million option for 2014 with a $5.5 million buyout that could make the contract worth $150.75 million over seven seasons.

Santana's contract topped the previous mark for pitchers, set when Barry Zito received a $126 million, seven-year deal from the Giants last offseason.

The only players with larger packages are Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez ($275 million), Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter ($189 million), Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramírez ($160 million), and Colorado first baseman Todd Helton ($141.5 million).

Santana's average annual salary of $22.92 million is second only to A-Rod's $27.5 million.

Knoblauch talks

Chuck Knoblauch came to Congress toting his toddler, and the former major leaguer met for about 1 1/2 hours with lawyers from a House committee investigating drug use in baseball.

Knoblauch, the 1991 American League Rookie of the Year and one of more than 80 players linked to performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report, did not reveal what he said.

A committee staffer told the Associated Press that Knoblauch was asked whether he used performance-enhancing drugs, and about former Yankees teammate Roger Clemens and trainer Brian McNamee.

Knoblauch arrived shortly before 10 a.m., carrying his 3-year-old son, Jake, and accompanied by his wife and lawyer. His wife and child did not go into the interview room with him.

"Maybe one day, when he grows up, he won't have to worry about drugs in sports," Knoblauch said afterward. "That's why I have him here today, to learn a very valuable lesson: If you do something in life, be prepared to talk about it open and honestly."

Leyritz victim drunk

The woman who was killed when former World Series star Jim Leyritz crashed his SUV into her car had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. According to a toxicology report, 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18. Florida's legal limit is 0.08. Leyritz's blood-alcohol content three hours after the crash was 0.14 percent. Leyritz, 44, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a recently added charge of DUI manslaughter by unlawful blood-alcohol levels . . . Third baseman Casey Blake agreed to a $6.1 million, one-year contract with the Indians . . . The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Joe Beimel, agreeing to a $1,925,000, one-year contract with the lefthanded reliever . . . Lefthanded reliever Pedro Feliciano and the Mets agreed to a $1,025,000, one-year deal.

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