We learned on Thursday that Johan Santana is dealing with a “probable re-tear” of the anterior capsule muscle in his left shoulder and is likely facing another surgery. Santana needed 19 months to make it back to the majors following the first surgery, so there has been some speculation about whether he wants to go through another one. While he hasn’t made a final decision yet, early indications are that he isn’t ready to give up on his playing career.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, a person who spoke to Santana said that the left-hander is leaning heavily toward having the surgery and making a comeback.
“He’s not ready to end his career,” the person said. “This is not the way he wants it to end.”
Santana is in New York this weekend and isn’t expected to a decision on his future until he discusses the situation with his family. However, Santana’s agent, Chris Leible, indicated on Twitter last night that his client wants to pitch again.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Santana owns a 3.20 ERA over 12 seasons in the major leagues. The 34-year-old has led the league in ERA and strikeouts three times.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.