Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana will join the Baltimore Orioles at spring training as he seeks to return to Major League Baseball after missing two of the past three seasons because of a torn capsule in his pitching shoulder.
Santana, who turns 35 on March 13, signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles, whose starting staff last season had the fourth-highest earned run average in the majors.
Santana played for the New York Mets for the past six years and became a free agent in November when they declined a $25 million option on the left-hander’s contract and paid him a $5.5 million buyout. Santana has a career 139-78 record with a 3.20 ERA with the Mets and Minnesota Twins. He won Cy Young awards in 2004 and 2006 with the Twins as the American League’s best pitcher and in 2009 signed with the Mets for $137.5 million over six years.
Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history in 2012, and missed the 2011 and 2013 seasons due to the torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
The Orioles’ projected starting pitchers for 2014 are Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez, according to MLB.com.