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Mets would consider re-signing Johan Santana

Oct 1, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

National League New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana during first inning action in Washington Reuters

Johan Santana has already said that he plans to come back from shoulder surgery to pitch next season and yesterday Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he’s open to re-signing the left-hander after the team buys out his $25.5 million option for $5.5 million to make him a free agent.

Here’s what Alderson said during an interview with WFAN radio, via Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York:

I think that’s a possibility. I don’t really know what Johan’s thinking. We’ll talk to him, I’m sure, over the next couple of weeks but I think he wants to pitch. We’ll just have to see what the market is for these guys and how much of our resources we want to allocate to somebody coming off injury or somebody you hope was able to pitch for you at a higher level.

Santana will almost surely have to settle for an incentive-laden one-year contract after missing all of this season and starting a total of just 21 games since 2011. As a Twins fan part of me is kind of hoping for a return to Minnesota, but if he’s available cheaply odds are quite a few contenders could show interest in Santana too.

  1. knowlegeforyou - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Should be interesting to see what aces from a few years ago make in this market. Johan, Roy, Johnson, Lincicum, ect

    • asterling45 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Sign Santana of he’s willing to load the contract with incentives

  2. chill1184 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Im not opposed to the idea but I would think bringing Santana back is just another option on the list as opposed to the end all be all.

    • moogro - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Only a Twins fan would be so brainwashed as to be that timid. I agree.

      • byjiminy - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        I am a Twins fan, and as a general rule we are as self-mocking as they come, but I literally have no idea what you are talking about. What do we believe is the end all be all of what, exactly? How are we brainwashed and timid?

        Aaron said that, for sentimental reasons, a “part” of him is “kind of” hoping the Twins sign Santana. How that is expresses the belife that Santana is the be all and end all, I have no idea.

        He further qualifies this by implying pretty clearly he’d only do this if Santana were cheap, and wouldn’t bother if others were willing to overpay.

        I honestly can’t fathom how this appears timid and brainwashed. I suppose you could say it’s timid to not be unwilling to bid with the big boys. Twins ownership certainly is that. But the only reason to overbid on Santana, instead of seeing which wounded veteran offers the highest risk.reward ratio would be if they were brainwashed into fixating on Santana, wouldn’t it?

        Or was the brainwashing-timid association just a reference to the idea that we pessimistically assume Twins’ ownership will never be willing to pay market rate for a quality player? If so, I agree with that!

        But brainwashing isn’t the right word, then, isn’t it? Wouldn’t “brainwashed” mean we had swallowed the company line, and this would be the opposite, a bitter critique of management?

        I’m just frustrated because I am offended and insulted, but I can’t properly defend myself because I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say.

        If it helps, I’ll say what it is I actually think, if that’s helpful.

        1) I would love to see Santana pitching for the Twins again
        2) This might even be a practical investment, as he could possibly be signed to an incentive-laden contract, having so much to prove after such a serious injury
        3) However, while it would be fun to have him back, as there’s a real chance he might even be useful next year, and I might even overpay a little for sentimental reasons, I would not overpay so much that I would pass up a similar or better player who offered a significantly higher chance of pitching well at a similar or lower price.

        I think that might even be what Aaron was saying as well.

      • moogro - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        First, sorry to step on a nerve. I must admit I am suffer a little of the Stockholm, MN syndrome as well. I was referring directly to “the end all be all.” If the Twins spent a bunch on Santana, they would call him the Ace, even though there are a ton of questions, surround him with replacement level pitching, and call it good. You can bet on it.

        The way they would sell it would be to appeal to our nostalgia and his past performance, and the lots of back-slapping about the awesome “effort” of landing him. And you know it would placate the MN masses.

        I agree with you that they shouldn’t overpay just to get him. Incentive-laden deal would be great. But they should also try to sign another quality starter for insurance. But I’m not sure it really matters the next year or so, except to put on a veneer of competitiveness. They are in the early rebuilding stage.

      • chill1184 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:15 PM

        I’m a Mets fan, does that count?

  3. dondada10 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I never understood why more failed/aged starters don’t try to reinvent themselves later in their careers as relievers. I wonder how many more millions are in Darren Oliver’s pockets as a result of being switched to relief.

    The obvious answer may be that starters get paid more than relievers do. But what about those guys who just aren’t getting offers to start?

    • paperlions - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Well, part of it is that teams have to buy in to the idea….and most teams would rather turn a young failed starter into a reliever than a more expensive old failed starter….pretty much every reliever is a failed starter, and most teams prefer younger, cost controlled relievers

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      I’ve heard some say that older starters frequently have a tough time getting used to the process of warming up quickly and unexpectedly in the bullpen. They are creatures of habit and their approach to their pitching days are somewhat ritualistic. It is frequently not a smooth transition, and leads to a reliever with limited flexibility and therefore limited value. If the guy can make more as a #5 starter than a long man in the pen, I am sure everyone involved would prefer that option.

  4. xdj511 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Can he even be anything more than, say, a left-handed specialist at this point in his career? Teams should beware that they might be signing an over-hyped Oliver Perez right about now.

  5. NatsLady - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    “Re-signing”? I got in a lot of trouble for spelling it that way! Ha.

  6. fissels - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    If I were Johan ,I’d look to get away from Citi “Bad Luck” Field

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I think he has Oakland written all over him: good team, good defense, great pitcher’s park. Do that on the cheap for one year to build value, then get some East Coast team to overpay.

  8. lcantor - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Much depends on the great unknowable: the state of Matt Harvey’s elbow. With Harvey, they have three dependable right-handers (with Wheeler & Gee) and one dependable left-hander (Niese). All three of the questionable starters on the current roster (Torres, Matsuzaka, and Harang) are righties. With the left handed power and historic Mets killers in the Atlanta and Washington batting orders, you’d sure like a second leftie. Without Harvey you’ve almost got to look to the FA possibilities and the lefty Jorge de la Rosa comes to mind as an option. With Harvey, I think that Santana is well worth a very good, hard look. His durability has to be a very big question, and he’s two years older than he was when he came back so brilliantly, if briefly, from the last surgery he had. But very few are harder working and more serious about their trade than he is and if he says he’s good to go and willing to take an incentive-laden 1 year deal to prove it, I’d be more than inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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