As former New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana continues to try and come back from the injuries that have plagued him in two of the last three years, the interest in his services has not died down one bit.
While the Minnesota Twins have been viewed as a team that could end up bringing back Santana since it's where he started his career and they can always use extra pitching on their staff, it's not a slam dunk that they end up getting him and the New York Yankees could be a major factor in the Santana chase.
LaVelle Neal III of the Minnesota Star-Tribune talked about how the Baltimore Orioles recent signing of Ubaldo Jimenez could spark the Yankees to make the move to get the 34-year-old left hander, who apparently still has ties to New York from his time with the Mets.
"Baltimore has since signed two starting pitchers, including righthander Ubaldo Jimenez, and might be satisfied by what they have. But the signing of Jimenez might have gotten the attention of other A.L. East clubs. It just so happens that Santana still has a home in New York from his time with the Mets, so returning there while playing for a certain A.L. East franchise wouldn't be a problem. A Twins-Santana reunion would likely excite fans who fell in love with the smiling southpaw as he went 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA over eight seasons with the Twins. But Santana, even if he's not ready until August, could be an impact stretch-drive addition for a contending team."
The last time Santana pitched was in the 2012 season, where he posted a 6-9 record with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts, but ran into shoulder troubles, which kept him out of the entire 2013 season due to needing shoulder surgery. If Santana were to sign with any team, it's with the notion that he won't be ready until May or June since he is recovering from that surgery and is just starting to throw for teams.
The Yankees fifth spot in the rotation is not a guarantee considering Michael Pineda has not pitched in two years and everyone else after that is looked upon as more of a long-reliever than a starter; David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno. But the thing that Santana has over all of them is that if he's healthy, he's better than all of those pitchers and could be a huge boost to a pitching staff that needs star power.
The one thing that Neal alluded to was how Santana's presence can help a contender, something that the Twins have not been since the 2010 season and the Yankees clearly are going to be considered a playoff contender given they spent nearly $500 million in talent after winning 85 games and missing the playoffs for only the second time since 1995, so Santana's presence could be just the thing the Yankees need in the later months to help them get to October and go deep in to the playoffs.
The Yankees were once interested in landing Santana after the 2007 season when Santana was a member of the Twins, but was on the trading block, but the Yankees didn't want to part with prospects, which lead to him being traded to the Mets and signing a six-year, $137.5 million deal.
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