As noted from earlier today, the Orioles have signed lefty pitcher Johan Santana to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Here’s more from the Baltimore Sun:
The Orioles finalized a minor league deal Tuesday with Santana, who will turn 35 next week. The lefty would earn $3 million if the major league club purchases his contract, and the deal includes incentives for days on the major league roster and games started.
Santana, who was once one of the top pitchers in the game, has appeared in just 21 games since the end of the 2010 season. He missed all of last season and is still rehabilitating from his second shoulder surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Tuesday that a “reasonable timeframe” for when Santana should be able to return is June 1.
Santana’s deal includes an invitation to major league spring training, so even though it is several months before he returns, he can resume his rehabilitation with the major league training staff. He knows Orioles assistant athletic trainer Chris Correnti well from their days together with the New York Mets from 2008 through 2010, and Duquette said Santana has remained in touch with Correnti over the course of his recovery.
Whether the club uses Santana as a starter or reliever depends on how he throws and how his velocity is once he is healthy, Duquette said, but it is likely the Orioles initially test him as a starter.
However, if Santana can throw anywhere close to the way he did with the Twins – or even the Mets – when he was healthy, then the Orioles have got an impact arm.
Considering his track record on the mound, it was a risk worth taking for the Orioles.
If he has little left in the tank, then it's no harm, no foul for Baltimore