According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Cubs have signed outfielder Mike Baxter to a minor league contract.
You might remember Baxter from his time with the Mets from 2011-2013. Most notably, the Queens native made a highlight reel catch in the game in which Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1, 2012. The 30-year-old is a .225/.331/.342 hitter over 423 plate appearances in the majors and appeared four games with the Dodgers last year.
Baxter is unlikely to crack the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, but he’s useful depth to have around at the Triple-A level. And he’ll always be aces with Mets fans.
I feel like every year we post 50 things about a player who will have virtually no impact whatsoever in the coming season. This year it happens to be Johan Santana. Yet, still we post. Because that’s what we do:
Any twinge for a guy with Santana’s health history is scary, but if he pitches again and does OK, I suppose it’s still possible he’ll be in a big league camp next month.
Johan Santana’s body will apparently not allow a comeback to happen. Or at least not without a bunch of setbacks first.
Finally healthy again after tearing his Achilles’ tendon last spring while coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries, Santana has been pitching in the Venezuelan winter league. But now he’s been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with shoulder soreness.
According to a report out of Venezuela he underwent an MRI exam that showed no structural damage, but Santana has struggled to recover from game action and everyone involved decided to shut him down.
Santana had two Cy Young awards and three ERA titles through age 29, when he led the league in ERA (2.53) and innings (234) for the Mets in 2008. Since then he’s been injured more often than not, including last pitching in the majors in 2012 and missing the entirety of three of the past four seasons.
What a shame.