As the Los Angeles Angels continue to look into improving their back end of their starting rotation, the team should entertain the possibility of adding free agent left-handed pitcher Johan Santana.
The 34 year old was forced to miss the entire 2013 season due to surgery on his pitching shoulder, which marked the second time in the last three years that he has missed a complete season. Prior to the injury, Santana struggled on the mound in the 2012 regular season as he had a 6-9 record with a 4.85 ERA, 111 strikeouts, 117 hits and 17 home runs allowed in 117.0 innings pitched.
His difficulties in 2012 could possibly have been because he was recovering from his first shoulder surgery. Nonetheless, the fact remains that Santana struggled mightily the last time he was on the mound.
So, does that mean the Halos should not take a chance on him?
No, because he has had a chance to go through rehabilitation and fully recover from his latest shoulder surgery. Santana may be in his mid-30’s, but when healthy he has proven to be an effective pitcher.
There is always possibility that he could return to somewhere in the range between the two-time Cy Young award winner that he was with the Minnesota Twins and more of the pitcher he was in his first three years with the New York Mets where he averaged a 13-8 record with a 2.88 ERA, 165 strikeouts, 1.18 WHIP, in 200.0 innings pitched.
But there also lies the chance that his best years may be behind him and that he will post numbers similar to the 2012 regular season. All in all it is a risk worth taking for the Angels on the left-hander as they have done with veteran right hander Mark Mulder, who has not played in the majors since the 2008 regular season.
The Halos could bring in Santana and use the competition between the two veteran pitchers to get the best out of each of the pitchers. This would ultimately benefit the Angels as both pitchers, granted if they performed well in spring training, could fill the back end of the rotation.
If the Angels do indeed choose to go this route they must act fast as several teams included the Twins and New York Yankees have expressed interest in the left-hander as he continues his rehabilitation.
So, if the Halos want to entertain possibly adding the former two-time Cy Young winner, they must make their move soon as he is going to soon become a hot commodity on the free agent market.