Johan Santana has been getting killed lately. Killed so bad that people have been talking about just shutting him down for the season. While the Mets first instinct was to put him on a pitch count, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that they have decided to simply shut him down instead.
Santana has a lower back inflammation and will be placed on the DL. No surgery is necessary. Rubin reports that the Mets are taking this well, with Sandy Alderson saying that he’s confident Santana will be back next season and that Santana “accomplished quite a lot” given that it was his first season back following serious shoulder surgery.
And he did. Certainly the no-hitter, and at times early in the season he was effective. But whether it was a stamina issue or whether ongoing issues with his shoulder caused him to rely too much on his back or some other thing in that vein, he just wasn’t the old Johan for much of the year. A year in which Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA and 111 strikeouts and 39 walks in 117 innings. With that no hitter and another shutout he still leads the league in shutouts.
See you next year, Johan. Here’s hoping this is merely a bump on the long way back from major surgery.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.