The “and more” could be up to three additional teams interested in the former Cy Young Award winner’s services. At least if you believe Jon Heyman, who says that as many as a half dozen teams are looking at Johan Santana.
Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to shoulder injuries, mostly. He’s 36 now and he’ll likely be in camp on a minor-league contract with the chance to compete for a bullpen job.
Johan Santana officially began his latest comeback attempt last night in Venezuela, retiring all six batters he faced in a winter ball appearance for his first action since a torn Achilles’ tendon in June.
According to the Associated Press he threw 17 pitches in two innings and failed to record a strikeout.
Santana seemed close to being called up by the Orioles when the injury ended his season and he’s still a long way from being declared healthy, but as far as baby steps go it was a good one for the former two-time Cy Young winner.
Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, as shoulder injuries repeatedly derailed what once looked like a potential Hall of Fame career. At age 36 he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league contract and compete for a job during spring training, and the Yankees are among the teams said to be interested.
This is not a report from 2006: Dan Martin of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are interested in Johan Santana.
As we noted over the weekend, Santana is embarking on another, possibly final comeback, playing in the Venezuelan Winter League. There have been some reports that he’s hitting 90 on the gun, but we’ve heard that before.
At this point he’d likely be had by giving him a minor league deal with a spring training invite, so it’ll cost essentially nothing to see if he can still get major league hitters out. Best case: you have a lefty who could possibly help out in the pen. Worst case: you’re out nothing. The Yankees gave Billy Crystal a spring training at bat once. It really doesn’t matter if they bring Santana in for a few weeks in February and March.
So yeah, expect to see Johan Santana in a spring training game for someone, even if it seems like a longshot that he’ll pitch in big league games that count again.