We haven’t heard much about Ervin Santana since his minor league deal with the Mets was up at the end of last season, though the 15-year veteran recently threw for the Phillies, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). It isn’t known whether or not Philadelphia has continued interest in Santana in the wake of this workout, though adding an experienced hurler on a minors contract wouldn’t be a bad idea for a team with some question marks at the back of the rotation.
Though the Phils have a number of arms already vying for the fifth starter job, none of the current candidates have Santana’s track record. It was only back in 2017 that Santana posted one of the finest years of his career, tossing 211 1/3 innings of 3.28 ERA ball for the Twins and finishing seventh in AL Cy Young Award voting. That season capped off a five-year stretch for Santana that saw him average 182 innings and a 3.52 ERA per year with Kansas City, Atlanta, and Minnesota from 2013-17.
Since then, however, Santana has thrown only 38 innings total over the last two seasons. Finger surgery kept Santana sidelined for almost all of the 2018 campaign, and he posted a 9.45 ERA over only 13 1/3 innings for the White Sox last season before being released. The results weren’t much better for Santana in the Mets’ farm system, as he managed just a 5.31 ERA over 95 total innings at the Triple-A and high-A ball levels.
Santana turned 37 in December, so his decline could be simply chalked up to age and wear and tear after the accumulation of 2421 1/3 Major League innings. He does want to continue his career, Heyman notes, and Santana is also hoping to pitch for his native Dominican Republic if the D.R. national team qualifies for the Olympics.