Johan Santana skips winter ball for ‘medically-prescribed rest’

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Johan Santana and the Mets have decided against the rehabbing left-hander pitching in winter ball, with Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reporting that he’ll instead be “entering a long period of medically-prescribed rest that will preclude him from pitching.”

He last pitched in an instructional league game on September 30, but general manager Sandy Alderson described Santana as “feeling very good” and “looking forward to 2012.” And according to the GM the Mets are “optimistic” he’ll be at full speed in time for spring training.

Several setbacks ruined Santana’s plans of returning for some September action this season, but he’s now 13 months removed from shoulder surgery and owed $55 million for the next two seasons. He last pitched for the Mets on September 2, 2010.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.