Despite Wanting To Compete, Almost No Chance Santana Will Play In WBC
Updated by Joe D. on 2/4
Because Santana ended last season injured and on the disabled list, a World Baseball Classic committee must agree to insure the southpaw’s $31 million contract in order to make him eligible for the event.
I’m glad that Santana feels up to the task, but the fact is that he’s been paid $45 million in the last two years, and aside from the no-hitter he has produced just six wins in that span.
His obligation and loyalty should be to the Mets – to whom he owes a great deal.
Johan Santana is planning to compete in the World Baseball Classic and despite being ineligible because he ended last season on the disabled list, he plans to prove his case that he is 100% healthy and get a waiver.
In order for the WBC to insure a contract, it has to be convinced the player is healthy. Santana automatically ended up on a disqualified list because of his 2012 disabled-list time.
But on Thursday, Sandy Alderson confirmed that Santana is healthy enough to pitch and ready for spring training. The Mets GM also said Santana was shut down at the end of 2012 not due to any specific injury, but only as a precaution to rest his surgically repaired shoulder.
I understand Johan Santana’s desire to represent his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. And, not because I’m not crazy about the whole WBC concept.
Santana is currently on the WBC’s injury-disqualified list because he ended last year on the disabled list, not having pitched after Aug. 17 because of lower back problems. Even so, he wants to push this through.
Santana made his full complement of starts, 34, in 2008, his first season with the Mets, but hasn’t done so since. He didn’t pitch in 2011 following shoulder surgery and made only 21 starts (117 innings) last year.
For this, he has been paid over $100 million and will make $31 million this season (including a $5.5 million buyout for 2014). For this, he won just 46 games for the Mets and only once game them at least 200 innings.
For Santana to be declared eligible the WBC must clear him physically and then be insured so the Mets aren’t stuck with the entire bill if he does get injured. Privately, Santana getting hurt in the WBC and the Mets not being stuck with his entire salary would be a plus.
I realize in today’s world this is an outdated thought, but considering all he has made and stands to make from the Mets, and considering a healthy Santana could make going to Citi Field a good thing this summer – if not for the remote trade possibility – I would have hoped Santana would show the Mets some loyalty.
They made Santana rich beyond his wildest dreams, but never pitched one playoff game for them.
Santana is a smart guy and knows the Mets won’t pick up his option for 2014, but one would hope he’d be smart enough not to risk anything in the WBC. Since he won’t be thinking he owes the Mets to be at his physical peak, if nothing else he should be thinking about staying healthy for somebody else in 2014.
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that. I currently serve as an editor and senior staff writer for Mets Merized Online. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos.
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