Two-time American League Cy Young winner Johan Santana has ended his bid for a comeback this season, reports ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. The longtime Twins and Mets hurler will again attempt a comeback in the 2016 season, Rubin adds.
The 36-year-old Santana signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays this offseason in hopes of returning to a Major League mound for the first time since the 2012 season. Santana was recovering from an Achilles injury that cut short his 2014 comeback attempt, and lately he’s been slowed by an infection in his toe. Because of that, he felt he would not have sufficient time to ramp up and get into Major League shape by the time the issue had healed.
A pair of major shoulder surgeries has significantly shortened the career of Santana, who was unquestionably one of the most dominant — and arguably the most dominant — pitchers in the game for a period of time in the mid-2000s. From 2004-10, Santana posted a 2.87 ERA with 8.8 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9, averaging 216 innings per season. His ERA+ over that stretch was a remarkable 151, indicating that he was 51 percent better than the league-average pitcher in that stretch. Santana totaled three straight seasons worth seven or more wins above replacement and, in the estimation of many, should have won three consecutive Cy Young Awards. (He won in ’04 and ’06, but Bartolo Colon took home first-place honors in ’05, largely on the strength of his 21 wins, as Santana was superior in most other categories.)
Even though we all love Bartolo, had had no place winning over Johan in 05. Pitcher W-L is the dumbest recorded stat ever created in pro sports and has 0% meaning in determining how good a pitcher is.
Also, Johan needs to understand that the only way he’s coming back is as a reliever.
Is he a hall of famer? His peak certainly was on that level, but I don’t know if his career was long enough for the voters.