How will Mets fans remember Johan Santana?
When the World Series ends, eight current Mets players will officially become free agents, and most won’t return in 2014.
No one will miss Frank Francisco.
Most of us will have a hard time remembering that David Aardsma, Aaron Harang and Daisuke Matsuzaka ever were Mets this time next year.
LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano and Tim Byrdak will be thought of fondly for a while (Feliciano and Byrdak more so than Hawkins.) However, given the stage they are at in their careers, I would certainly understand if they or the Mets decided to look elsewhere next season.
I don’t know how we’re going to remember Johan Santana.
He’s the guy who pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history, and the guy who did everything he could to keep the Mets in the pennant race in 2008.
He’s also the guy who earned more than $48 million while sitting on the disabled list, during a time when Mets fans watched the team’s payroll shrink during the post-Madoff era.
Santana’s Mets career ends with a 46-34 record, a 3.18 ERA and 15.2 wins above replacement (according to Baseball-Reference.com). Not too shabby, but not what we were hoping for when Omar Minaya traded for him in 2008.
Compare with Al Leiter‘s 7-year Mets career: 95-67, a 3.42 ERA and 28 wins above replacement. When healthy, Santana was a better pitcher, but Leiter managed to stay on the field more.
Will we be honoring Santana with a Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremony in a few years, or remembering him as disappointment if we think of him at all?