I'll take him over Oswalt. He looked fantastic pitching 2-hit ball over 5 innings on Saturday. Elbow surgery is a bit misleading. There was nothing wrong with any legaments or tendons. He just had it scoped to get rid of a few bone chips. Of course he's going to be a bit rusty after that but he appears to be back on track now.
Some people seem to think that Santana isn't even in the same tier as Oswalt? I don't think they've really paid attention to what Santana has done, but instead, see him as unfamiliar and write him off way too quickly. Why don't we just look at their 2003 stats as starters:
127.1 - Oswalt (21 GS)
110.0 - Santana (18 GS)
11 - Santana
10 - Oswalt (and you're going to tell me Santana has better run support?)
1 - Santana
5 - Oswalt
2.85 - Santana (Johan plays in the AL and had the better ERA)
2.97 - Oswalt
1.00 - Santana (and the 1 is rounded up from 0.996)
1.13 - Oswalt
8.89 - Santana
7.65 - Oswalt
You also have to understand why Santana wasn't allowed to start more games. The penny pintching Twins saw what happened to Javier Vazquez during his arbitration case before the 2003 season. ERA and strike-outs don't garner you as much money as wins do. If you noticed this offseason, keeping Santana, their best pitcher, in the pen as long as they could last season worked for the Twins, as Santana lost his arbitration hearing.
My favortie stat would be that Santana became a permanent fixture of the Twins rotation last season on July 11th, and took his turn every fifth game from there on out. Why is that interesting? The last regular season start he got a losing decision for was on July 23rd. From that point on he went 8-0. Shows you what he is capable of when given a long overdue chance to excell.
I think you can make a damn good comparison. Give me the man with the best change-up in baseball. It's his freakin' strike-out pitch for heaven's sake, and he rings up a batter an inning (and that's not just last season, in 2002 of any pitcher to throw at least 100 innings, only Randy Johnson had a better K/9 than Santana).