Whether Jose Reyes leaves or David Wright is traded, or both remain in New York, the “true” face of the Mets franchise is Johan Santana. Since 2007 the Mets have been filled with injury prone players, bad contract investments, failed to meet expectations, and enter 2012 with an uncertain future. Granted, the Mets have other nominees for these dubious distinctions such as Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and now Jason Bay, but none come close to the stature of $151 million stature of Santana.
Since joining the Mets in 2008, Santana has battled injuries in 2009, 2010, and missing all of 2011 due to shoulder surgery. Following the surgery Santana had setbacks in his rehabilitation towards the end of the season. The injury setbacks have placed doubt throughout the Mets organization that Santana can live up to the remaining guaranteed two years and $49.5 million left on his deal with a $5.5 million buyout option for 2014. As of the first four years of the deal, and nearly $78 million, Santana has won 40 games. That averages out to $1.94 million per win, which is the type of math that only Bernie Madoff would approve. With Santana anchoring the rotation the Mets have failed to make the playoffs since 2006 and his highest win total was 16 wins back in 2008. The bottom line is that Santana hasn’t been worth the large investment the Mets made to make him the ace of their pitching staff.
Heading into the winter and into the 2012 season the Mets future forecast is cloudier than ever. It’s anyone’s guess if Santana can return from shoulder surgery, if Reyes or Wright will be with the club, and what exactly are the financial restraints from the Madoff fall out. Santana will look to prove his critics wrong and show that he can return to his Cy-Young form as the face of a Mets franchise that’s in need of a facelift makeover.
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