MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Twins ace Johan Santana, a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner, was unable to remain on the ballot for the Hall of Fame, receiving 2.4 percent of the votes, as announced on MLB Network on Wednesday night. However, former Minnesota slugger Jim Thome was elected in his first year of eligibility.
Santana, who was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame last week, needed to receive 5 percent of the vote to remain on the ballot next year. Thome, who played for the Twins in 2010 and '11, finished well ahead of the 75 percent needed for election, receiving 89.8 percent.
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Santana, 38, pitched with the Twins from 2000-07 before pitching with the Mets from 2008-12, winning 139 career games with a 3.20 ERA and 1,988 strikeouts in 2,025 2/3 innings. But Santana, whose career was derailed by injuries, said last week he's still not officially retired, although he's currently not throwing this offseason.
"I'm not officially retired," Santana said in a conference call on Friday. "I was still thinking about trying to come back, but unfortunately, things haven't worked out the way I would love them to. Only time will tell."
Santana, acquired by the Twins in the 1999 Rule 5 Draft from the Astros as part of a trade with the Marlins, developed into an ace for Minnesota with the help of his incredible disappearing changeup. At the height of his run with the Twins from 2003-07, he went 82-35 with a 2.92 ERA and 1,152 strikeouts in 1,070 2/3 innings.
Santana won AL Cy Young Awards in 2004 and '06, finished seventh in '03, third in '05 and fifth in '07. He was also an AL All-Star with the Twins every year from 2005-07 and won his lone AL Gold Glove Award in '07. With the Mets, he had a top-three finish in National League Cy Young balloting in '08 and a final All-Star appearance in '09. He also threw the first no-hitter in Mets history in 2012.
Thome, 47, hit 37 of his 612 career homers with the Twins, but memorably reached the 600-homer plateau while with the club in 2011. Thome homered twice in Detroit on Aug. 15, 2011, becoming the eighth player to reach 600 homers. Jose Pujols has since joined that exclusive company.
"The Minnesota time was so special," Thome said in a conference call. "I loved the state of Minnesota and being an outdoorsman. It fit me so well at that time of my career. I loved the people there. Some of the greatest people."