|Johan Santana's season is over|
before it started.
That notion was probably always fanciful. Today — with the news Thursday that Santana's surgically-repaired shoulder has given way again — the odds are far better that he'll never throw another pitch in the majors.
We Twins fans should treasure the memory of Santana's brilliance with the Twins. From the time he broke into the rotation in 2003 through his first season with the Mets after the ill-fated trade (2008), Santana finished seventh, first, third, first, fifth and third in the Cy Young voting — and I do believe that the voters soon regretted not giving him the honor in 2005, which would have made three in a row for him.
Three times he led his league in ERA, three times in strikeouts, twice in innings pitched, three times in strikeouts per nine innings. It was a truly impressive six-year run.
What comes next for the Venezuelan southpaw is uncertain. He's 34. His return from his 2010 surgery to repair his capsule took 19 months, and no pitcher has had the surgery twice. The Mets owe him more than $25 million for 2013, and there is no chance that they will pick up his option for 2014.
Will Santana want to endure the grueling rehab when he can expect only a limited payoff at the end of it? Surely there won't be big-ticket offers waiting for him at age 36 after a second major shoulder operation.
Still, this is a proud pitcher — with a record to be proud of — with a competitive streak worthy of admiration. He might decide to try it just because he can try it.