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Mets Cut Santana Loose

Written by Brian Krosky

If there’s anything that the beginning of the 21st century will be remembered for, it may be bad contracts.

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The Yankees are in a huge fiasco trying to avoid A-Rod’s record setting contract given to him in 2004, which tops off at $30 million this upcoming year. The Angels are already regretting the two massive contracts handed out to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, signed in the offseason of 2011, and 2012, respectively.

The Giants curtailed Barry Zito’s contract after an abysmal seven-year, $126 million stint with the team, given in the offseason of 2006. Ryan Howard? Vernon Wells? Add one more to the list, Johan Santana.

It was reported Friday that the Mets had declined his 2014 option for $25 million, and paid a $5.5 million buyout. The two-time CY Young award winner missed all of 2013 with a shoulder injury, the same one that sidelined him for the 2011 season.

Although not currently under contract, it has been discussed the Mets are still interested in signing him, but to a much cheaper contract. Because of Matt Harvey’s elbow injury that will keep him off the field for the 2014 season, the Mets are missing some spots in their rotation.

When healthy, Santana has been productive on the mound. He’s 46-34 with them while maintaining a 3.18 ERA. He also threw the first no-hitter in franchise history for the Mets, in early June 2012.

It’s very plausible that we see Santana in a Met uniform next year, and even years after that. Highly regarded prospect Zack Wheeler who went 7-5 in his rookie season with a promising future could use Santana as a mentor to adjust to pitching at the Big Leagues.

When Matt Harvey returns in the spring of 2015, Santana can also use his experience to help Harvey evolve. He may not be around for long, but Johan Santana may be the facilitator for the Mets starting rotation in the future.

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