Adding a two- time Cy Young Award winner is never a bad idea. Former New York Met and Minnesota Twin, Johan Santana began throwing off a mound this week. Johan 34, tweeted that he " feels great".
The latest reports had Santana returning somewhere towards mid-season. This recent tweet may prove to add some momentum to the four time All Star's recovery. The Yankees and several other teams, have expressed interest this off season in signing the free agent pitcher. If Santana can return earlier than expected, this could prove to be an enticing option for the New York Yankees.
Santana who threw the first no-hitter in Met history has proved to be a big game pitcher. Also, pitching in Queens has solidified the lefty as a pitcher who can rise above the pressures of producing in New York. Santana who under went his second shoulder capsule surgery in April of 2013 has not pitched in the majors since. The Yankees, who have a definite need for a quality arm towards the bottom of the rotation, would welcome a pitcher of his caliber.
The Yanks have been keeping tabs on a few quality arms this off-season, including Ubaldo Jimenez, who most recently pitched for the Cleveland Indians. Jimenez might be more of a long shot because he is tied to draft pick compensation as he turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Indians before declaring for free agency. It is also rumored that Jimenez is seeking a long term deal, somewhere in the 3-5 year range. Santana a free agent, could probably be had on the cheap side. Possibly a one year incentive ladened deal would be all it would take to get Santana in pinstripes. The Yankees could possibly step up and grab him before he is ready to return, then send him to rehab down in Tampa as he works his way back into form.
Santana could prove to be a low risk high reward signing for the Yankees. The fifth spot in the rotation remains a big question mark as well as overall pitching depth. Santana could prove to be a a valuable asset for the Yanks as the season progresses. With an opening day rotation projected to consist of; C C Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and David Phelps/ Michael Pineda, Santana could definitely add depth and a quality option for the Bombers.
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