Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Would A Johan Santana Reunion Make Sense?

    It has been five seasons since Johan Santana last wore the uniform of the Minnesota Twins. In the mean time, he has been dealing with multiple injuries and ineffective pitching performances. He missed all of the 2011 season as he dealt with a shoulder problem and he won't pitch in 2013 because of another shoulder issue. Last season with the Mets, he tossed 117 innings with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

    Not exactly the numbers Twins fans were used to seeing from their former ace pitcher.

    Santana believes he will be able to pitch next season. In a recent interview with the New York Daily News, his agent said that Santana has been able to do things a lot easier after this surgery compared to his first procedure. He went on to tell one of his agents that he "isn't going out like this."

    The 34-year-old left handed pitcher will see his six-year, $137.5 million contract expire at the end of the season and this will make him a free agent for really the first time in his career. The Mets don't look to be players for Santana on the free agent market since they have a young rotation of arms as they look to rebuild in the strong NL East.

    This opens the question about where Santana will head this offseason. Would it make sense for the Minnesota Twins to reunite with their former Cy Young winner?

    There were good years and bad years for Santana in New York. Over the span of his six-year contract, he posted a 3.18 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP. Over his 717 innings on the mound, he had 607 strikeouts compared to 203 walks. His final record was 46-34 but his numbers don't tell the whole story. He is coming off one of his worst statistical years and his second major operation on his shoulder. One shoulder surgery can be a death sentence for a pitcher and a second surgery leaves more than one question mark.

    Minnesota has taken on some recent low-risk chances on the free agent market. In 2012, the Twins signed Joel Zumaya to an incentive laden contract with the hopes of him rekindling his career. The same could be said about the contract signed by Rich Harden this offseason. Both players would never make it on the field at the big league level but this might be the type of contract facing Santana this offseason.

    When looking at the Twins rotation situation for 2014, there hardly seems to be anyone with their name penciled into the rotation. Kevin Correia will likely get a spot since he is signed for $5 million. Others in the mix will be Sam Deduno, Kyle Gibson, Liam Hendriks, Vance Worley, and Andrew Albers. This isn't exactly a star-studded crew and none of these men are likely to be guaranteed spots going into spring training. This could mean that there is room to take a flyer on someone like Santana.

    One of the reasons Santana originally wanted to leave the Twins was to get to a bigger market. There can be some benefits to being in this type of market. A player has the chance at more endorsement deals and the chance to play in front of a larger audience. He spent six seasons in the Big Apple and had to deal with their media and plenty of scrutiny along the way. Maybe it is time for him to get away from the hustle and bustle.

    At the beginning of next season, Santana will be 35 years old and it's not really clear how much he has left in his throwing arm. He may never be able to get back on the mound at the big league level. He also has never had the opportunity to get back to the postseason since he left the Twins. A player in his position might want to head to a team with a chance to contend instead of a team rebuilding like Minnesota.

    Some Twins fans might love to see Santana back in Minnesota because of the many years he spent dominating the American League. This isn't the same Santana though and no one knows what to expect as he rehabs his shoulder for the second time in two years. There are over 2000 big league innings on his left arm and that might be all of the juice he had in the tank.

    Reuniting with Santana might be fun but it probably isn't in the cards...
    This article was originally published in blog: Would a Johan Santana reunion make sense? started by Cody Christie
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      I would love to see it but think it is unlikely. He probably wants to pitch for a contender although there is not one where he would be assured of a roster spot. The only way I see it is if he thinks that that the Twins will leave him in the rotation even after a couple rough starts (like pelfrey)and not have to be ready by opening day(like harden). The Twins do know how to use him and took much better care of Santana than the Mets.
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      I'd be fine with him returning but I'm pretty skeptical he'll successfully come back, the track record for this surgery is short and bad and he's had to have it done twice.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      No pitcher has ever recovered from two of these on the same shoulder.
    1. Blackjack's Avatar
      Blackjack -
      No. I loved listening to the Twins when Johan pitched, I don't want to listen as a shell of the old Johan struggles, I want to remember him as he was.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      I dunno, I would think it might be more likely than some other options. I don't think he burned any bridges with the FO when he left, though he certainly limited their options in terms of who he'd accept a trade to. But that's just business. He had leverage and used it.

      Last I knew, he still had his home in Fort Myers, making the Twins, Red Sox and maybe the Rays as teams he might lean toward going to spring training with. Of those teams, the Twins would seem to have more room for a reclamation project in their 2014 rotation. It would need to be on an incentive-heavy contract, perhaps with an agreement to allow Santana to walk away if he's not on the active roster by June.

      If he did make the roster, his name would generate some buzz and sell a few tickets/jerseys.

      Certainly wouldn't be the worst move either side could make this winter.
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      Bring him Back. Based on the majority of seasons since he left, its not like we can do any worse.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      No reason not to give it a shot, really. But sadly I think Santana is toast.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      No reason not to give it a shot, really. But sadly I think Santana is toast.
      I think you are probably right that you can stick a fork in him--Johan is done--I figure a 90% chance of that. But resign him on the 10% chance he isn't done.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      The Twins can afford to give him a decent contract for little results. Putting him on the field for just a game or two will sell tickets (which is important to the team). You will sell Jerseys. Maybe he will shine. He can't be any worse than any number of other folks out there. I don't really see anyone else risking a 40-man sot on him or a guaranteed rotation spot. The Twins have that luxury. A Santana signing in January would generate quite a few season ticket sales. Even if he doesn't ever pitch for the team during the season, the p.r. value might be worth it alone. Heck, Blackburn got paid $5 million to throw a dozen minor league innings this year!
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Old saying applies here: It is not possible to step in the same river twice. I am beyond apathetic about the idea. He's no longer Johan Santana and these are not the same Twins and I don't see the point.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Harden and Perez are cautionary, and they had the surgery once. Twice is twice too many. The surgery is for helping you comb your hair without pain. It's not for getting you back on the mound. If you know he's toast, why do anything to bring him back, unless it's just so he can retire a Twin.
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      Tony O and Johan team up for spanish language twins broadcast! BOOM!
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
      The child in me that remembers Johan as the best pitcher on the planet for 4 years wants this to happen in the worst way. I wouldn't miss a Santana start. But, those days are gone.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      1 year, 1 mil contract with 5 mil in incentives.
    1. JeffB's Avatar
      JeffB -
      We all know that if the Twins bring him back, he'll fizzle and we'll be disappointed. If he signs elsewhere, he'll do great and we'll be disappointed. Sigh.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      My heart says, "yes!" I don't put anything beyond Johan. I'd enjoy a Santana comeback attempt more than the Pelfrey/Harden/Zumaya attempts.
      ...or, a Scott Baker reunion could make even more sense.
      Heck, get the band back together!
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      1 year, 1 mil contract with 5 mil in incentives.
      I don't think you throw your money away by giving him any guaranteed money. It's a long shot that he'll ever pitch in the big leagues again. If you really wan't to take a chance, do a minor league deal with an opt out date, a la Harden.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by PopRiveter View Post
      My heart says, "yes!" I don't put anything beyond Johan. I'd enjoy a Santana comeback attempt more than the Pelfrey/Harden/Zumaya attempts.
      ...or, a Scott Baker reunion could make even more sense.
      Heck, get the band back together!
      Baker is a decent possibility. I would be on board if they sign at least one established guy.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Even if the odds are closer to one in a hundred than one in ten, can a team with the worst rotation in baseball really afford to rule much of anything out? At this point they're just looking for guys who can get the ball from the mound to home plate.
    1. Rick Blaine's Avatar
      Rick Blaine -
      If he could pitch like he did in 2012 he'd be our best starter.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.