Free agent starting pitcher Johan Santana is drawing interest from '7 or 8 teams,' according to Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger. Castillo reports that one of the interested teams is the New York Mets.
Santana did not pitch in 2013 after having surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. He underwent the same procedure in 2010 and did not pitch particularly well when he returned in 2012, leading to questions about whether or not his career could resume at all after this second operation. He made 21 starts in 2012, posting a 4.85 ERA in 117 innings; on the bright side, he struck out nearly a batter per inning and maintained a 2.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The left-handed Santana was once one of the top pitchers in baseball -- he won the AL Cy Young in 2004 and 2006 as a member of the Twins. However, he managed only 109 starts over six seasons with the Mets due mostly to the injuries to his shoulder capsule. Santana, who turns 35 in March, is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
The Mets' rotation currently includes Dillon Gee, Jonathon Niese and youngster Zack Wheeler, who debuted in the majors last year after being ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the minors by MLB.com prior to the season. The team could use an extra starter or two to eat innings after losing young phenom Matt Harvey to Tommy John surgery; the 24-year-old right-hander will likely miss the entire 2014 season while recovering from the procedure. The team also lost Jeremy Hefner to Tommy John surgery in August, but chose to non-tender him on Monday rather than keep him while he rehabs; the right-hander made 23 starts for the team last season. If the Mets don't land Santana, then they could go after other innings-eaters such as Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm or Bartolo Colon.