If you're a fan with hope that your team would strike a buy-low deal with Johan Santana and enjoy the prizes of Santana reclaiming his once glorious career in 2014, we've got some bad news for you.
Prospects are looking grim for Santana after he threw a bullpen session Tuesday for seven MLB teams in Fort Myers, Fla.. He barely topped 80 mph, according to George King of the New York Post, who wrote:
Tim Naehring represented the Yankees at the workout in which Santana topped out at 81 mph, pitched between 77 and 78 mph and mixed in an impressive changeup.
While the Yankees have questions throughout their rotation, it’s highly unlikely they watched Santana thinking he could be a help this year.
Santana will be 35 next month and he missed the entire 2013 season after having surgery on his left shoulder. He missed all of 2011 after a similar surgery. While Santana returned to throw a no-hitter for the New York Mets in 2012, he wasn't all that effective otherwise, registering a 4.85 ERA.
Now, with his velocity down even further, it's hard to imagine anybody being too excited about Santana, even if they fondly remember his two Cy Young awards and those three seasons with a league-low ERA. After his first surgery, Santana was able to maintain about the same velocity (88-89 mph) on his fastball as he did in 2010.
Now? Well at least he has a little time to improve. He wasn't targeting opening day as a return date anyway, hoping instead for May 1 or June 1. The Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles are two teams who had been previously linked to Santana.
The lefty at least put a good spin on things publicly, tweeting:
Today was a very good day off the mound, getting better!!!
— El Gocho believe it! (@johansantana) February 25, 2014
He'll likely get a job, because he's Johan Santana and someone will have faith that he has some magic left, enough to help a team out for a few months in the second half of the season. But it doesn't sound like he's destined to have that heroic comeback story.
- - - - - - -