The Blue Jays may not be done looking at free agent pitchers just yet. There is one former 2-time Cy Young winner that is attempting to make a comeback from a torn capsule in his in his left throwing shoulder back in April. Sportsnet reports that the Blue Jays were one of seven teams to have scouts in attendance watching Santana work out in his recent bullpen session at Fort Myers High School in Florida.
However, the 34 year old is no where near his old form, as George A. King III reports in the NY Post article, Santana’s fastball is topping out at just 81 miles per hour and averaging 77-78 MPH, a far cry from his previous 2012 season’s average at 88.4 MPH. This is the same pitcher also once considered to have the best changeup in the major leagues, but as long his fastball velocity is down, the effectiveness of that changeup will be limited.
In his prime–between 2004-2006–Johan Santana was widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, winning the Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. However injuries have derail his once promising career, including missing the entire 2011 and 2013 season recovering from the same shoulder surgery to repair a torn capsule.
Santana most recently pitched in the majors in 2012 for the New York Mets, going 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and his highest SO/9 in the last 4 seasons at 8.5.
After missing time in 5 consecutive seasons (2009-2013) due to injury, the Mets declined Santana’s $25 million option for 2014, and bought him out for $5.5 million.
Reports are that Santana is targeting a return date in June.