The Baltimore Orioles came to an agreement on a minor-league deal with two-time former Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana on Tuesday.
The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training in Sarasota and is worth $3 million plus performance bonuses upon making the major league roster, according to CBS Sports insider Jon Heyman.
Santana is coming off a second shoulder surgery that cost him to miss the entire 2013 season. The Mets chose to buy him out after the season, making him a free agent.
Santana had previously missed the entire 2011 season and went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA for the New York Mets in 2012 between surgeries, including the first no-hitter in franchise history. Santana was brilliant from 2003-2008, winning the American League Cy Young Award twice with the Minnesota Twins and being named an All-Star four times in his career between the two teams.
For his career, Santana is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.132 WHIP.
Originally signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent in 1995, Santana was acquired by Minnesota via Florida at the 1999 Rule 5 Draft. He will wear No. 57 with the Orioles.
Rumors/reports of the deal began midday Monday when the lefty was spotted at the Birds’ Spring Training facility in Sarasota by multiple media outlets. Top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez posted the following picture of himself with Santana on Instagram.
Santana recently threw for MLB scouts and reportedly topped out with a velocity of 81 MPH. Many believe he would not be available to pitch until well into the 2014 season.
A report from MLB.com suggested the O’s could view Santana as a left handed option out of the bullpen. The Birds have again been looking at reliever Brian Matusz as a starter during Spring Training and have no options left with fellow lefty Zach Britton. Additionally, lefty reliever Troy Patton will miss the first 25 games of the season after testing positive for a banned substance.
The Orioles recently acquired veteran starter Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon. The team was still in talks with free agent starter Ervin Santana as recently as last week.