Yesterday, Johan Santana signed on a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. While he won’t be given any guarantees to the major leagues, he was invited to big league Spring Training. Having not pitched in the majors since 2012 that’s not surprising, and the Twins weren’t seen as the favorite to sign him anyways. However, is this really it for the two sides?
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The Twins dealt Johan Santana to the New York Mets after a tremendous start to his career in Minnesota. While the Twins never made use of the biggest piece they got back for Santana (Carlos Gomez), the Mets struggled to get much out of a guy whose career was derailed by injuries. At this point, Santana is fighting for his major league life, and he now will look to do so in Canada. Minnesota has plenty of options when it comes to pitching in 2015, but a reunion would have made for a nice story. There is a slight chance however that the Twins have not yet seen the end of Santana.
There’s a couple of factors playing into this theory. First off, Johan Santana is an injury prone pitcher. His deal with the Blue Jays includes a $2.5 million base salary if he makes it to the majors, but more importantly he has an April 28 opt out date.
The expectation was that the Twins would continue to monitor Santana’s progress, but likely didn’t see a clear fit for him. Darren Wolfs had been reporting for weeks that Santana was linked to Minnesota (for obvious reasons), but there just didn’t seem to be room.
That leads us to this, the one way the Twins and Johan Santana could find themselves reuniting. While Wolfson has continually hit it on the head that Santana would not be signed by the Twins, he may also be right in thinking a one day contract could be a potential avenue. If Santana struggles out of the gate with the Blue Jays, and fails to make progress prior to his April 28 opt out date. a change of heart could be in store. For a guy to make it back to the major leagues with as many injury issues as Santana has had is tough enough, then adding in having not played at that level since 2012 makes it nearly impossible.
If Santana does end up opting out and decides against going down the same uphill battle with another team, he could hang them up. If he does so, it would only make sense he go out as a Twin. At that point, you’d have to think Terry Ryan would be all for bringing him home one a one day contract to throw out a first pitch, shake some hands, and say his farewells.
Here’s to hoping that Johan is able to resurface in the big leagues with the Blue Jays, and that regardless of what happens, he gets his Twins farewell.
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