Johan Santana‘s journey continues for now.
The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to a minor-league deal with a big-league camp invitation. The deal will be worth $2.5 million if he makes the major league roster, plus incentives.
The lefty will turn 36 in March and would hypothetically play in his 13th major league season if he makes the team. Santana is well past his days of being an ace, but the Blue Jays took a relatively small chance on him due to their lack of pitching talent. In his last major league season with the New York Mets, Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA over 117 IP.
Santana’s future was thought to be bright after signing a 6-year contract extension directly after being traded to the New York Mets, which kept him under team control until 2013. The Minnesota Twins had sent him off knowing they couldn’t afford the price that he commanded the next offseason, when he would enter free agency, after the ace went 90-41 with a 2.92 ERA over 1179 innings pitched in Minnesota.
Santana pitched well in his first seasons in Queens, but struggled from there on out. His struggles partially relate to injuries – Santana has pitched 125 competitive innings in the last four seasons, which have included bone chips in his elbow, Tommy John surgery, a sprained ankle, back inflammation and a torn achilles (in an extended spring training game).
Even so, the Blue Jays rotation didn’t improve substantially over the offseason, counting on youngsters Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez to hold up the back end of the rotation, so it doesn’t hurt them to take on a player who could become a spot starter. Santana isn’t even expected to make the roster, so anything in the majors is unlikely, but with his past talent, it’s a smart decision to make.
Over 12 seasons, Santana has gone 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA over 2025.2 IP.
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