Once viewed among the top left-handers in baseball, injuries have cost Johan Santana two of the last three seasons and it seems as though he might not be as ready to sign as some reports have suggested. Santana is still working his way back from the latest surgery and is just hoping to throw off a mound later this month, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Santana appears undecided on whether he’s looking to sign with a team now, to finish his rehab with, or if he’ll wait until fully healthy in order to have a showcase audition.
Santana has twice undergone the same procedure to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his pitching shoulder. He seemed to return OK following the first surgery, but fatigue had set in by mid-summer and he was shut down by the team in August. Santana made 21 starts and threw 117.0 IP on the year, posting a 4.85 ERA and 1.333 WHIP.
The results were a far cry from what we’d become used to seeing from the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
While the New York Mets – Santana’s last team – have not been linked to having interest in bringing the soon-to-be 35 year old back there has been some steady interest in potentially signing the left-hander to a minor league deal. His former team, the Minnesota Twins, have been a popular suggestion and other teams have been in the mix. Santana could be a solid low-risk, high-reward type signing that would fit with a number of teams looking for depth.
Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger hears that the New York Yankees are “monitoring the progress” as Santana continues to progress. It’s unclear just how interested the team may be in signing him. New York’s focus has been fixed primarily on Masahiro Tanaka (who carries few question marks, though Bill King of MLB Perspectives sees a few flaws in his delivery to be concerned about), but an incentive-laden deal for a pitcher like Santana could ultimately be a wise move. The Yankees are one team in certain need of starting depth.