Notes: Orioles, Johan Santana reach agreement

Johan Santana, 34, became a free agent after completing a $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets.
Johan Santana, 34, became a free agent after completing a $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets.

Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana agreed Tuesday to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles as he tries to come back from the second major operation on his left shoulder.

Santana would get a $3 million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man roster and would have the chance to earn an additional $5.05 million in roster and performance bonuses. He would receive the full amount for 120 days and 25 starts.

The 34-year-old lefthander became a free agent after completing a $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets, who declined a $25 million option and paid a $5.5 million buyout.


Santana is expected to report Wednesday. The Orioles are hopeful that he might be ready to pitch in the majors around June 1.

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‘‘I think it’s great,’’ Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ‘‘I’m not going to say it’s a no-lose proposition. There are things you lose, but it makes a risk worth taking. I think it’s exciting, the possibility down the road.’’

Santana, 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA in 12 seasons with Minnesota and the Mets, missed the 2011 season following shoulder surgery on Sept. 14, 2010, returned to pitch the Mets’ first no-hitter on June 1, 2012, then missed last season after an operation on April 2.

Union targets Mets

Calling the Mets a ‘‘marquee franchise,’’ new players’ union head Tony Clark is paying attention to the team’s payroll.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he expects the team’s payroll to be between $85 million and $88 million this season, which would be a slight decrease from its $90.9 million final figure last year.


Despite the additions of free agents Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, and Chris Young, the Mets have a payroll resembling that of a mid-market franchise. The Dodgers’ payroll is over $225 million and the Yankees will top $200 million.

‘‘Any time there are concerns or issues with any club related to certain habits or trends, we pay attention to it,’’ Clark said after speaking with Mets players during his tour of the 30 spring training camps.

Clark declined to say specifically whether the union has spoken with the Mets’ owners or front office about payroll.

Kinsler criticizes article

Ian Kinsler, who was traded from Texas to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason, said some critical statements attributed to him in an ESPN The Magazine story were taken out of context. Kinsler was quoted as calling Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a ‘‘sleazeball.’’

In the ESPN story, Kinsler blamed Daniels for the departure of Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, who left the organization in October.


‘‘I’m not happy about it. I think that the story was written for drama, and taken a little out of context,’’ the Tigers’ new second baseman said. ‘‘I understand there were some things directed at the GM, but as far as my teammates and the fans, there’s nothing negative to say about that, and I think the quotes taken about the general manager were taken a little out of context.’’

Kinsler was also quoted as saying he hopes the Rangers lose every game this season.

‘‘To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162.’’ Kinsler said that comment was a joke.

Indians hire replay aide

The Indians hired former minor league pitcher Gregg Langbehn to be their major league replay coordinator. The 43-year-old will watch games from the clubhouse and advise on when to challenge an umpire’s decision.

‘‘There will be communication to the dugout, I’m assuming it’s a hard line,’’ Indians manager Terry Francona said. ‘‘He’s going to call us, because if there’s something going on, I’m going to have to go out on the field. It will be our responsibility to communicate with him in a timely fashion and then we make our own decisions.’’

Langbehn pitched in the minor leagues for eight years with the Mets, Red Sox, and Brewers organizations and then spent eight years in the Astros organization as hitting coach and manager at the Single A level.

Dirks to miss 3 months

Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks is expected to miss three months because of a back problem that requires surgery. Dirks was expected to share the left field spot with Rajai Davis, whom the Tigers signed in the offseason . . . The Rangers signed free agent lefthander Joe Saunders to a guaranteed major league contract, according to media reports. Saunders, 32, was 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA for the Mariners in 2013 . . . Marlins newcomer and former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first home run leading off the fourth in Miami’s 3-1 win over the Twins . . . Lefthander Mike Gonzalez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Nationals and will compete with Xavier Cedeno for a bullpen job. Gonzalez, 35, had a 3.03 ERA in 47 games for Washington in 2012, then went 0-3 with a 4.68 ERA for Milwaukee last season . . . Orlando ‘‘El Duque’’ Hernandez rejoined the Yankees as a minor league spring training pitching instructor. Hernandez was a key member of the Yankees’ run of three straight World Series titles from 1998-2000 . . . Former pitcher Ted Lilly has been hired by the Cubs as a special assistant to Theo Epstein, the team’s president of baseball operations.