Johan Santana is reportedly close to signing a minor league contract with an unknown team in a bid to resume his major league career in 2014.
While there have been reports of interest from at least seven different teams that have contacted the veteran pitcher this off-season, but it is believed the fit-again Santana would favor a return to the New York Mets, where he would join a team looking to prove the Betfair.com odds.
If Santana is mulling over offers for minor league contracts, it points towards the fact that no team is guaranteeing him a major league contract, which is hardly a surprise when considering Santana’s age and recent injury history.
He’s had surgery to repair a torn capsule in his shoulder twice, and he hasn’t pitched in a competitive game since August 2012, missing the entire 2013 with his second serious shoulder injury in two years.
Santana has spent the past six years with the New York. He has gone through rehab for several injuries with the Mets, and he knows the organization well, including spending plenty of time working with Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen.
Santana has a good relationship with the Mets as a franchise during his time in New York, and the pitcher would have a significantly better chance of challenging for a place in the starting rotation at the Mets than at many other teams.
New York has a solid group of four starters heading into 2014, but the fifth spot appears up for grabs between pitchers like Santana that would be heading to preseason camp on minor league contracts, as well as the likes of Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero and a number of the Mets’ top pitching prospects.
The Mets could be set for a tough 2014, at least according to Betfair, although having a pitcher with Santana’s experience could be a huge boost, if he is over his shoulder problems. And that’s a big if.