Reliever Dennis Santana has elected minor league free agency, the Mets informed reporters (including Tim Britton of the Athletic). New York had designated the righty for assignment over the weekend and he has evidently gone unclaimed on waivers.
Santana has been with the Mets since they grabbed him off waivers in mid-March. They’ve designated him for assignment on three separate occasions, running him through waivers each time. The 27-year-old accepted his first two outright stints but decided to seek out other opportunities this time around.
This is Santana’s sixth season logging some major league action. He pitched in nine games for the Mets, allowing seven runs in 10 1/3 innings. He fanned 12 but issued seven walks in that limited look. Santana showed a similar profile over 33 frames with Triple-A Syracuse. He pitched to a 4.91 ERA with a solid 27% strikeout percentage and a lofty 13.2% walk rate.
Consistently throwing strikes has been Santana’s biggest concern throughout his career. In 149 2/3 MLB innings, he’s walked 12% of batters faced. He throws in the mid-90s and has gotten swinging strikes on a decent 11.5% of his offerings but has dished out a few too many free passes, leading to a career 5.17 ERA.
Santana is playing this season on a $1MM arbitration salary. That makes it a bit surprising he declined the outright assignment. As a player with less than five years of major league service, Santana forfeits the roughly $220K in guaranteed salary he was due through season’s end in order to test the market. Perhaps he’ll look for a landing spot with a club in playoff contention over the next 10 days. If Santana signs elsewhere by end of day on August 31 — even on a minor league pact — he’d be eligible for postseason play with a new organization.