After being shut down on Wednesday, Johan Santana is heading to another injury-ridden DL stint. The team placed Santana on the 15-day DL and “doesn’t expect him to pitch the rest of the 2012 season” according to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
This is the second season ending injury for the left hander and he’s not getting any younger. Santana will be 34 years old next year and is on his last year of a six year deal he signed with the New York Mets in 2008.
Santana was everything the Mets could’ve hoped for when he signed with the team in 2008, including his complete game shut out against the Miami Marlins in game 161 of the 2008 season, and of course hurling the first no-hitter in franchise history.
Santana will always hold a place in the heart of Mets fans for his warrior like mentality, but fans must realize that all good things must come to an end. It is crucial for the Mets to see if there are any suitors for him and are willing to take some of the money off of the Mets hands.
Santana is due to make $25MM next year and if the Mets can prove that Santana will be healthy next spring, Santana could be a valuable number two for a team contending for a title.
One team that drew interest in Santana was the Los Angeles Dodgers who are making more moves than any other team in the majors. After the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers inquired about Cliff Lee and were willing to pay most of his remaining contract. Now Santana is not Cliff Lee but could be a short solution for the Dodgers and could be inserted in that starting rotation behind Clayton Kershaw.
Should the Dodgers inquire about Santana and offer to pay for more than half of his salary, the team could use that payroll for one of three options.
The first option would be to offer David Wright a huge contract and convince him to stay.
Although Wright has previously stated that the money will not be the deciding factor but the ability to win a World Series will be the tipping point, the Mets could use that money to spend on talent that will surround their all star.
The third option would be to buy out Jason Bay’s contract with the remaining money and just call Bay a lost cause. The Mets will have to pay Jason Bay $20MM ($16MM for 2013 and $4MM for his buyout).
Johan Santana will forever be etched in New York Mets lore but isn’t the answer for the future, although the franchise has it’s sights set on Santana being in team’s plans it can’t sit around with their hands folded just hoping for Santana to be some what decent. It’s not going to happen, the team has to learn from the Jose Reyes fiasco that if a player is in the plans for the future it’s necessary for the team to trade away the players in hopes for young talent that will eventually be in the team’s plans.
Until then, the fans are the one’s who will suffer through another season like this if the team keeps Johan Santana and not plan for the future.