New York Mets Plan to Buy Out Johan Santana
This report comes from Adam Rubin over at ESPNNewYork.com and it should not be a surprise to many at this point.
The Mets were on the hook for a potential $25 million option for next year, but this buy out signals the end of Santana’s contract with the team that once made him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.
The buy out is for $5.5 million and might very well be the end of Johan Santana’s up-and-down tenure with the Mets.
Via Baseball-Reference: His first season with the team was absolutely brilliant as he posted a career-low ERA of 2.53 in 34 games during the 2008 season. He won 16 games and struck out 206 batters in 234.1 innings pitched. In his Mets career, he won a total of 46 games and lost 34 out of the 109 he started for the team with a .575 winning percentage.
He is also responsible for the Mets organization’s lone no-hitter after so many close calls in the past with Tom Seaver and a few attempts in recent years as well.
And yet, therein lies the rub with Santana’s saga with the Mets. He was oft-injured as so many pitchers these days are. His reign as one of the top pitchers in baseball was brief but unforgettable. When healthy in Minnesota and New York, he possessed a tremendous slider that could fool batters even when it ended up in the dirt. His change-up was one of the best secondary pitches in the league and had above-average fastball location with decent velocity.
In giving the Mets a long-awaited achievement that almost every other team in the league had accomplished, he may have taken his final bow for the fans. The Mets had worked him until he had nothing left and worked him some more.
Was it worth it? To destroy the arm of a player for one shining moment in team and individual history? One who’d already had a history of injuries with this team. It’s hard to put a value on Santana’s legacy with the Mets because there is always the cliche of “what could have been” with him as a Met. It’s also hard to debate whether overworking him for the no-hitter, and in general, were the right moves because you will get different answers from everyone based on a multitude of different reasons.
Nevertheless, during his tenure with the Mets, Santana was an integral part of the success they had together. At the top of his game, he was one of the best pitchers to don a Mets uniform and his contributions, while in vain, have been greatly appreciated and will be cherished for years to come.
I wish the best of luck to Johan Santana as he rehabs and hopefully makes another comeback. Who knows, maybe he can shake off this injury and give us another year or two of magic.
Just at a slightly cheaper price.