October 9, 2013

Johan Santana In 2014...Sure, Why Not?

Johan Santana will go down in Mets lore for a number of reasons.  Undoubtedly he will be remembered fondly by most for throwing the franchise's first ever no-hitter after 8,020 attempts.  For others though, he will be remembered as one of the worst free agent contracts the organization has ever dealt out.  Neither should influence whether or not the Mets bring Santana back in 2014.

Here's the thing though.. Should Johan be brought back next year there should be absolutely no expectations by anyone involved.  The Mets shouldn't operate under the guise that they're going to get a single inning out of Santana next year.  Santana should expect to be called up when/if he is deemed "healthy".  And most importantly, the fans shouldn't expect anything more than Santana being a backup plan.

If Johan Santana is open to signing an incentive based deal with a low base salary, I see no harm in doing so.  The Mets appear set to jettison some of their young starting pitching this winter, therefore bringing Santana in to provide depth makes all the sense in the world.  Think Chris Young.. Not going to be the most glamorous thing in the world, probably going to get hurt again, but if he's healthy he can probably provide a dozen or so effect starts.  Maybe..

Coming back to the Mets would make sense for Santana too.  He'll be well received by most fans due to nostalgia alone, and a one year contract will provide him the opportunity to prove he's healthy and basically, audition for another deal elsewhere in 2015 and beyond.  I can't foresee him finding a better situation elsewhere to be honest.

Assuming the price is right, I simply don't see a reason not to bring Santana back into the fold on a minor league contract.  No one, including Santana, knows when he'll be ready to pitch again.  However if he does prove healthy, you can never have enough starting pitching.  Sandy Alderson has made a living in low risk, high reward type scenarios.  Johan Santana in 2014 is exactly that!

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