The New York Mets were the talk of the MLB when they gave Johan Santana a six-year, $137.5M contract in 2008. Since then, things haven’t exactly panned out and the two will be parting ways when Santana’s $5M buyout becomes available to the Mets this November.
Santana continued his dominance in his first three seasons where he enjoyed ERA’s under 3.15 and won a combined 40 games as opposed to just 27 losses. However, he would not live up to the expectations after he missed the entire 2010 campaign with shoulder surgery. Missing time is not Santana’s fault; however, you can’t expect the Mets to honor his $25M team option in 2014 even if he comes out blazing in 2013.
2012 will be remembered by most for the first ever no-hitter in Mets history which Santana threw versus the St. Louis Cardinals on June first–this was just Santana’s 11th start since returning from shoulder surgery. While the historic outing is something to keep in your memory, don’t let it cloud the awful year that Santana had last year.
Pitching in just 21 starts Santana had a career high 4.85 ERA along with his first losing record since his rookie season. Now, he obviously didn’t respond to the surgery very well as he sported a 1.33 WHIP, which is the highest mark since his time as a reliever with the Minnesota Twins in 2001.
It’s safe to say that the Big Apple and Santana didn’t quite mix but, I wouldn’t blame the pressure as much as I would blame injuries, as they truly have derailed one of the best pitchers of this generation.