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Johan Santana may pitch out of the Orioles’ bullpen

Mar 4, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

johan santana mets getty Getty Images

Roch Kubatko of reports that Johan Santana could be used as a reliever by the Orioles once he’s able to pitch.

Kubatko reported yesterday that the Orioles “have an agreement in place” with Santana on a minor league deal. Given the sort of deal it was and given how late it was reached, Santana is clearly in the beggars can’t be choosers camp. So even if he’d prefer to start, he’ll likely do whatever the O’s tell him if he wants to continue his major league career.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    There is zero downside to this deal on the Orioles side. He can stay in the minors for as long as needed, and if he gets his form back, he could potentially be a nice addition for the O’s. If not, they can cut him and no harm, no foul. I’m not really sure why so many criticized this move when it was first announced. The way the Orioles use their AAA team, it’s not like he’s even taking time from some developing player, as most of their young talent gets promoted direct from AA.

    • gethimgethim - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      While the deal doesn’t cost anything, zero downside implies you’re expecting at least something out of it. He’s throwing 77 m.p.h. Out of the pen. If that doesn’t change, the downside is that the O’s wasted their money. Doesn’t matter if it’s league minimum or $1 mil with incentives; it’ll be a waste.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        No, zero downside means that you have nothing to lose. It very well may be a waste. It may end up being a decent move. You don’t very well know. It is worth the small salary they are spending on a guy who may end up surprising people. And if not, no harm done.

  2. rockthered1286 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Yeesh… I mean, I get it. The rotation right now looks like Tillman (lock), Jimenez (lock), Chen (lock) and 2 of the 3 between Norris/Gausman/Gonzalez. You also have a chance to see Yoon if he pitches well, Britton who is out of options, Matusz who is aiming for the final spot… it’s a crowded position for the O’s.

    And then we can look at the pen. You have Hunter as your closer and O’Day as his set up. Beyond that I think you will see Matusz, Britton, Webb, Yoon, possibly Stinson, maybe Steve Johnson, and TJ McFarland. Starting to get crowded in there as well. I understand some guys will be up and down like Stinson and Johnson (possibly Yoon too), but guys like Britton are out of options and others cannot be sent down to the minors either. Barring injury to the rotation, I don’t see where Santana can fit, and even then he would be moved to the pen and you’d see Britton or Matusz fill the SP void.

    Who ever thought I’d be saying the O’s have too much pitching depth… Not that it’s a bad thing!

  3. xdj511 - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    I can’t believe Johan wants to keep playing badly enough that he’d put himself into a situation where the best he could hope for was turning into Oliver Perez.

    • karlkolchak - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      If he turns into Oliver Perez, he’ll still command a seven figurge salary.

      Jim Kaat became a middle reliever late in his career and pitched ’till he was 44. Anything to keep suiting up and getting paid.

  4. chill1184 - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    If there is a deal in place, good luck with the O’s Johan.

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