Is a reunion in the offing? LaVelle Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins are “one of several teams” that have asked to look at Johan Santana’s medical information.
Santana is a risk given multiple major shoulder injuries and surgeries. But he’s apparently an intriguing one as several teams are said to have checked in on the 34 year-old lefty who hasn’t pitched since 2012. For what it’s worth, Santana is throwing on flat ground from 90 feet and “feeling good,” according to his agent.
Not that we’d expect an agent to say “yeah, he’s pretty shaky. Kinda touch and go, to be honest.”
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.