It was reported Sunday by Kristie Ackert in the Daily News that the Mets have already reached out to pending free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins about returning in 2014.
Another pending free agent is Johan Santana. While being interviewed on WFAN by Mike Francesa yesterday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson kept the door open a crack as far as Johan Santana returning is concerned.
One of the above scenarios seems very likely, while the other feels like much more of a long-shot.
Hawkins, who will be 41 in December, was very solid for the Mets this season after coming aboard as a free agent.
In 70.2 innings pitched over 70 games, he had an ERA of 2.93 and a 1.15 WHIP. While often dialing his fastball up to the mid 90’s, Hawkins this season struck out 7 batters per 9 innings, his best rate since 2010.
While it’s always risky to rely on older players, Hawkins’ durability and productivity this season – along with what’s likely to be a modest one year salary, seems to make a reunion with the Mets likely. Johan Santana is a different story.
Santana, who will be 35 in March, missed the entire 2013 season after re-tearing the anterior capsule in his left shoulder and undergoing surgery. It was the second time in three years that Santana underwent the procedure.
The Mets will buy out the remaining year of Santana’s deal this winter for $5.5 million. After that, it’s likely that Santana will be looking for a guaranteed major league deal heading into 2014.
The problem, is that Santana defied the odds by returning from anterior capsule surgery once. Doing it again would be a tall task.
However, Santana is incredibly tough and determined. If anyone can make it back, it’s him. With the Matt Harvey situation hanging over their heads, though, it’s likely that the Mets will be looking to add a starting pitcher who’s much more of a sure thing than Santana.