Johan Santana and the Orioles have finalized their minor-league contract, which was announced just now and will include an invitation to big-league camp.
Santana struggled to top 80 miles per hour while throwing for a half-dozen teams last week, so the odds of him making the Opening Day roster seem awfully slim. There’s some speculation that he could be used as a reliever, but regardless of his role Santana is seemingly destined for some time in extended spring training or the minors.
Santana is attempting to come back from two shoulder surgeries at age 35 after missing all of 2011 and all of 2013, with 117 innings of 4.85 ERA pitching (and a no-hitter) mixed in during 2012. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the deal is worth “$3 million plus performance bonuses” if he reaches the majors.
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Johan Santana could be used as a reliever by the Orioles once he’s able to pitch.
Kubatko reported yesterday that the Orioles “have an agreement in place” with Santana on a minor league deal. Given the sort of deal it was and given how late it was reached, Santana is clearly in the beggars can’t be choosers camp. So even if he’d prefer to start, he’ll likely do whatever the O’s tell him if he wants to continue his major league career.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko — who is sitting right in front of me today in the Orioles’ press box, so he’s smooth — reports that the Orioles are nearing a minor league contract with Johan Santana. Santana is apparently here in Orioles camp in Sarasota today working on the details of the deal.
It’s definitely something of a flyer. Santana topped out at 81 mph during a throwing session for teams last Tuesday, so this is a depth play and a hope that, after some time in extended spring training, Santana can be useful.