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Johan Santana close to signing minor league deal

Dec 29, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT

johan santana getty Getty Images

From Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe:

Johan Santana, LHP, free agent — Santana is getting closer to making a decision on a minor league deal with a team. There’s been some speculation about the Twins since Santana still resides in Fort Myers, Fla., where the Twins have spring training. The Red Sox, who also train in Fort Myers, passed. But a small-market team such as the Astros could also have some interest. Santana is just trying to get back pitching and prove himself again.

The Pirates, Yankees, Twins, Rays, Orioles and Brewers are among the teams that have been linked to Santana this winter.

The 34-year-old left-hander spent the entire 2013 season recovering from reconstructive shoulder surgery and had a pedestrian 4.85 ERA in 117 innings with the Mets in 2012, but he was one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball between 2002 and 2010 and he is expected to carry a clean bill of health into the 2014 campaign. Santana just wrapped up a massive six-year, $137.5 million pact with the Mets.

  1. cackalackyank - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    This makes sense for him to try and finish out his career, or make a comeback with the Twins. I wouldn’t have minded seeing him sign a minor league reclamation project contract with NYY, though. I do not feel that Tanaka is guaranteed to land in NY, and the 3 major pitching free agents do not wow me. Could be a low risk high reward signing for whichever team this deal is with.

  2. steelers88 - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I would love to see him sign with the Pirates.

    • dylanthom2013 - Dec 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Wouldn’t you rather see Burnett back?

      • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

        Huge difference in salaries, commitment.

  3. Old Gator - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I hope Santana makes it. He had the misfortune of being on the Mutts during the dregs of the Omar Minaya era, and then the shoulder injury. But he pitched his heart out for the Mutts and I think all the criticism of him, playing hurt, was an object lesson in ingratitude. Best of luck to him in his comeback effort.

    • abeatlesfan - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Old Gator the name of the team is The New York Mets. If that is too complicated for you perhaps you should get your grandkids to type for you. There is no baseball team called the Mutts. Some dogs are Mutts and many vets say they are the best dogs because they live longer and were not over bred.
      I would have liked to see Santana offer the NY Mets his services at a very discounted price. After all he took a lot of money from them for doing nothing for a year and a half.
      As a NY Mets fan I can tell you he was admired and respected by fans. He gave us our first no hitter (although he did give up a hit that the ump missed) and he was a champ with heart which was admired.
      You speak with a forked gator tongue and perhaps when you have all the facts straight you should consider posting again.
      Then again I am sure whatever team you root for is perfect and never did anything to earn any criticism EVER and of course treated all players right 100% of the time. Right?

      • rje49 - Dec 30, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        OK, so what do you think about the Skankees chances?

      • oldschoolnflman - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        I thought they were called the Mutts because they take players who shouldn’t be in the NL, mix them with players who shouldn’t be in the AL, and put them on the same team?

  4. negaduck - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    6 years/$140 million would be considered a bargain in today’s market for the type of pitcher he was when he signed that deal, wouldnt it?

    • Kevin S. - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Of course. That’s what happens when your revenues continue to explode year after year – contract’s that looked like absurdities when they were signed don’t look so bad at the end. Obviously Santana’s injury issues meant that almost any deal he signed was going to be a failure, but in retrospect it was a reasonable contract for a pitcher of Johan’s caliber.

    • doctornature - Dec 29, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      It would seem like a bargain BEFORE but after the six years, not so much.

      For 137.5 MM, the Mets got 109 starts= 1.261 Million per game he started

      717 innings=$193,000+ PER INNING

      46 wins=3+Million/win

      No doubt Johan was much better than Zito was with the Giants, but in the end both pitchers cost a fortune and were hurt (Santana) or ineffective (Zito) or both. That kind of money thrown around nowadays like chump change, and the fans pay in the end. The price of our entertainment I guess.

  5. okwhitefalcon - Dec 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    “But a small-market team such as the Astros could also have some interest”

    Uh, Cafardo may want to rethink that description of Houston.

    “Small spending” and “small market” are two different animals.

    • marketingforcontractors - Dec 29, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Houston is the 10th largest TV DMA. They should have a huge TV contract coming. Too bad the new owner didnt read the fine print and got scammed. Without the TV revenue they are a small market team.

  6. syphermce - Dec 29, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    I think this is the kind of player that could turn Orioles fan’s feelings about the offseason around. He’d be a good fit for them.

  7. kelshannon19 - Dec 29, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Houston is not a small marker. Sheesh

    • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      It doesn’t matter what the rankings say… it only matters how your team actually operates. The Astros act like they’re a small market team, therefore they are a small market team.

  8. nymets05 - Dec 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Hey Old Gator,don’t shed too many tears for Santana as he is laughing all the way to the bank with the 40 million he got while he was sidelined.In addition,he was never around the clubhouse in all his down time.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      I bet he wasn’t “laughing all the way to the bank”. I bet he was bummed he couldn’t contribute.

    • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      I have to agree with “baseballisboring” down here – Santana was an all-in competitor and I would bet anything that it made him wince a little every time his slot came up and went by. I’m also sure it hurt to pitch year ‘fore last and hurt more when he couldn’t pitch effectively. I don’t shed tears for guys who lay out whatever they’ve got left. They know what the consequences of their art might be, and they take the pain along with the gain. Santana got blamed for wayyyyy too much of what was a shared failure from the benchwarmers and coaches all the way up to the skybox where the Wilpoons hide.

  9. jeremycmurray - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    just before I saw the receipt four $5820, I did not believe …that…my cousin woz like they say realy receiving money parttime on-line.. there friend brother had bean doing this for only about 16 months and resently paid the debts on their cottage and got a gorgeous Mitsubishi Evo. navigate to this website,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  10. nymets4ever - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Glad this guy’s time as a Met is over!!

  11. hardkor07mn - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    As a twins can I would love to see him back in MN. Especially if its only a minor league deal.

  12. chill1184 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Good luck where ever you go Santana

  13. chip56 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Johan would be a great addition to the Yankees for the simple fact that Manny Banuelos could learn a lot from him.

  14. larrybiv - Jan 1, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    For all the times “my” Mets take flyers on other players…… would be a “just” flyer on the man that pitched his heart and arm out and gave them their ONLY no-hitter. Fan favorite a pro’s pro, and should be afforded that opportunity. If the Mets do not do this………well, they’ll prove to me they are STILL clueless and my loyalty continues to dwindle. Clueless.

  15. rocky100292 - Jan 19, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    He has a better chance in the national league.

  16. @Cereal_22 - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    The Astros are not a small market team….they have one of the biggest markets in the country.

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