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Johan Santana: Surgery Appears Likely for Mets Former Ace

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08:  Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets reacts after giving up a homerun to Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees in the third-inning at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  Yankees defeated the Mets 9-1.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Vinny MessanaCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2013

He had one more opportunity to rectify his tremendous contract, and now his season appears over.

"A second surgery is a strong possibility," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson (via the New York Times).

It's a shame that a six-year contract worth $137.5 million can net a team 46 wins. That's what the Mets dished out to two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana just prior to the 2008 season, and that's what he gave them in return.

To be fair, he was constantly the victim of poor run support and dreadful bullpens. 

In his first year, he pitched like a true ace finishing third in the NL Cy Young voting in which he should have won. He led the league in ERA at 2.53 and innings pitched with 234.1. His 16 wins would have been 21 if not for five blown leads in the eighth inning or later from the bullpen.

Santana was relied on to pitch effectively and deep into games to get the Mets into the playoffs that season. Although it did not happen, he certainly did his part.

He began the 2009 season in the same fashion, in fact, sporting a 0.46 ERA through his first two starts. He continued to provide solid numbers throughout the season until his year ended prematurely with an elbow injury. The Mets had a putrid season, but Santana finished with a 13-9 record, 3.13 ERA in 166.2 innings.

2010 was another injury-shortened season. This time it was for the torn anterior capsule which he has re-injured and could end up cutting his career short. In his 199 innings, he was terrific once again compiling a 2.98 ERA with an 11-9 record and a 1.18 WHIP.

The surgery cost him the entire 2011 season, and he focused on returning strong in 2012. 

By all accounts he was doing a fantastic job of that. He ended the first half with a 6-5 record, 3.24 ERA and, of course, the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

After that, he self-destructed. Not directly after, because he actually shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays which people fail to recall.

Whether it was his shoulder that began to ache then or his ankle which was stepped on against the Chicago Cubs, Johan was never the same.

In the second half, he lost all four of his decisions and compiled an abysmal 16.33 ERA.

Something just didn't seem right this offseason. He wasn't his usual optimistic self, and he never appeared in a Grapefruit League game. Although the Mets never admitted it, they must have privately known they would not be receiving any sort of contribution from their $25 million pitcher.

His Mets career is almost certainly over and his career has a fair chance of being done as well. Did the Mets receive their fair end of the bargain from Santana? Only if you value no-hitters at $25 million. 

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