Johan Santana – 2004 and 2006 Cy Young Winner
It’s a little odd that the three players already mentioned aren’t exactly beloved in team history. Spahn was here so long ago and a non-factor. Viola and Saberhagen’s time was a little longer, but neither went to the postseason with this organization or had that one moment fans will never forget.
The same cannot be said for the last entry on this list. Johan Santana is a guy just about every Mets fan adores. If some fans had doubt, a single start changed their opinion.
First, let’s rewind to February, 2008. This was the day when the Mets landed Santana in a trade with the Twins for Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Phillip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey. The Mets immediately signed Santana to a contract extension, ensuring he’d be a member of the organization for several more seasons beyond 2008.
Santana delivered as promised in his first year. He was 16-7 with a league-leading 2.53 ERA. Like other ex-Cy Young winners the team had acquired via trade, he also finished third in the voting as a member of the Mets.
Santana continued to pitch well over the next two seasons, but injuries also began to take their toll. He missed all of 2011 and returned in his final big league season in 2012 with mediocre numbers which included a 4.85 ERA.
However, the 2012 season also included Santana’s signature game. On June 1, 2012, Santana pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history. Fifty years after the franchise was born, they finally had a guy go the distance without allowing a hit.
The story Santana told on the mound in his time as a member of the Amazins was a memorable one with an overall 46-34 record and 3.18 ERA. The only shame was how poorly the team performed down the stretch and the fact that we didn’t get to see more of this dazzling lefty.
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Which of these former Cy Young winners who pitched for the Mets do you hold closest to your heart? If I put out a poll, I bet it’s Mr. Santana.