Heyman: Padres Among Six Teams In On Johan Santana
Per a recent Tweet by CBS Sports and MLB Network baseball insider, Jon Heyman, the San Diego Padres have been identified as one of six big league teams that have legitimate interest in pursuing former Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana.
Santana, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2012 as a member of the New York Mets, spent last season in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, never making back to the big leagues to pitch. In 2012, former Minnesota Twins’ ace recorded a 6-9 record, with an ERA of 4.85. If he were to sign with San Diego, he would most likely come in on a minor league contract, with an invite to big league spring training.
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If Santana chooses to sign with the Padres, he would have stiff competition in pursuit of a fourth or fifth starter’s slot in the Padres’ rotation for 2015. Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy lead the three-headed monster at the front of the rotation, while Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Odrisamer Despaigne, Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke, and Brandon Maurer could all be battling for rotation time this coming season.
Aside from the Padres, Heyman’s Tweet also confirmed that the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays among others, are also in pursuit of the lefty, who has a career mark of 139-78, with an ERA of 3.20 in 12 big league seasons. Known for his devastating change-up, Santana has battled serious shoulder issues over the past several years, missing 2011 with capsule reconstruction surgery, and then having more work performed on the shoulder in 2013. His most recent injury was suffered this past June, when the lefty tore his Achilles tendon.
Santana is currently showcasing himself for potential suitors by pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he made his debut last Thursday. He is on schedule to make his next start this coming Thursday, and rest assured, teams will have eyes in the stands to see if the former 20-game winner has anything left in the tank that could help a big league club in 2015.
It’s a low-risk/high-reward option for the Padres, whom GM A.J. Preller has overhauled since the end of the 2014 regular season. The odds are long that Santana could crack the Padres’ rotation, especially given his long history of shoulder issues. Perhaps a solid spring could catapult Santana back into the conversation, and if the Padres were to sign him, and then cut him loose during spring training, he could catch on with another big league team that is in need of experienced starting pitching.