Mets right-hander Dennis Santana went unclaimed on waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Syracuse, per the team’s transaction log at MLB.com. It’s the second time this season the Mets have outrighted Santana, which grants him the ability to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. I’m told that Santana has accepted the assignment and will head to Syracuse, however.
Santana, 27, has appeared in eight games for the Mets this season, tallying 8 2/3 innings but allowing six runs on eight hits — including a pair of homers — and five walks. He’s punched out 11 of 40 opponents and averaged 95.6 mph on his heater. That’s above-average velocity but still down from last year’s 97.7 mph average in Texas. Nova has also tossed 7 1/3 frames for the Mets’ top affiliate in Syracuse, notching a 3.68 ERA with an 11-to-6 K/BB ratio there.
Once considered one of the top prospects in a deep Dodgers system, Santana has begun to bounce around the league, going from L.A. to Texas to Atlanta and to Minnesota before being claimed by the Mets earlier this year. A rotator cuff strain back in 2018 wiped out most of that season, and Santana moved from a starting role to a relief role the following season. He’s seen Major League action in parts of six big league campaigns and compiled 147 2/3 innings, most of which has come with the Rangers over the past two seasons. Overall, Santana has a 5.18 earned run average 21.4% strikeout rate, 11.8% walk rate and 45.4% ground-ball rate as a big leaguer.
Santana has generated swinging strikes, chases on pitches off the plate and grounders at average or better rates throughout his Major League tenure — all while sitting at an average of 96.1 mph with a fastball that has plus spin rates each year. He’ll head back to Syracuse and continue to work on his command in hopes of earning another look at the big league level with the Mets sooner than later. Given the fluid state of the injury-plagued Mets relief corps — they’ve used 17 relievers already, tied for fourth-most in MLB — a strong showing in Syracuse could put Santana back on the big league map before long.