Santana even better in the NL? 

January, 30, 2008
01/30/08
10:55
AM ET
So what are the Mets getting (if the deal goes through) in Johan Santana? We know they're getting the best pitcher in the American League. Over the past four seasons, Santana leads all AL starters in ERA (by a wide margin), innings, starts, wins, winning percentage, and (by a huge margin) strikeouts. As The New York Times' Ben Shpigel notes, though, there's at least one lingering question:

The one note of caution for the Mets is the fact that he took a step backward last season, with a record of 15-13 and an earned run average of 3.33, and seemed to struggle after a standout game Aug. 19 in which he struck out 17 Texas Rangers in eight innings. Over his final seven starts, Santana went 2-4 with a 5.11 E.R.A., raising some questions as to whether he was hurt.

The physical exam by the Mets will address such concerns, although the Mets might not feel fully relaxed about their investment until Santana truly demonstrates he is healthy by pitching effectively in spring training.
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