For those that were holding out hope for a reunion between the New York Mets and Johan Santana, that dream appears to be all but dead now that the Mets have decided to give lefty John Lannan a chance.
The possibility of Santana coming back to New York, even on a no-risk minor league deal, was compelling for Mets fans as they still feel a strong emotional attachment to the man that delivered the only no-hitter in franchise history. It also feels as though Santana has some unfinished business with the Mets after so much of his tenure with the team was marred by injury, including the final year of his contract which he sat out entirely after shoulder surgery.
After undergoing surgery on his left shoulder twice during his tenure with the Mets, there is little guarantee that Santana can still pitch, much less do so at the major league level. There is also no guarantee that Santana will be healthy enough to compete for the Mets’ one and only vacant spot in the rotation during Spring Training, which would be the whole point of signing him.
By the midway point in the season, the Mets will likely have several of their top pitching prospects ready for a promotion to the big leagues, They need help in their rotation early in the season, and Santana is unlikely to be able to give that to them.
It was always going to be a long shot for Santana to return to the Mets, but that hope is all but lost. Mets fans will long remember Santana for his no-hitter as well as so many other great moments, but it’s time to officially close the book on his time with the team.