The inside of Johan Santana’s pitching arm looks like something you’d see after running ground beef through a wood chipper. Nevertheless, Santana insists that he will pitch in the major leagues in 2014.
First though, Santana must convince some major league team to give him a chance. That may not be as hard as you would think. Multiple teams are reportedly interested in Santana despite the fact that he missed the entire 2013 season and hasn’t been any good since 2010.
The Mets were the first team to give Santana huge money, acquiring him from the Twins in a 2008 trade and inking him to a $137 million, 6-year contract. For their money they got three decent seasons, one bad season and two seasons where Santana was unable to pitch at all thanks to arm trouble. Oh and one no-hitter, the first in Mets history.
Santana had an option for 2014 with New York, but rather than pick up the damaged pitcher for $25 million, the Mets opted to buy him out for $5.5 million. That’s what I call good financial sense.
Now the Mets appear willing to give it another go with Santana, likely on a minor league deal. The Baltimore Orioles are also being mentioned as a landing spot for the former Cy Young winner.
The chances of Santana ever regaining the form he showed in Minnesota and early on with the Mets are very slim. But maybe he can resurrect himself as one of those crafty lefties who hang on into their forties with guile and junk. Whoever signs him will be taking a no-risk flier.