After undergoing surgery in April to repair a tear in the anterior capsule of his left shoulder, Johan Santana has begun a throwing program and is making great progress toward his return to pitching in games.
Last week, Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger reported that Santana’s agent, Chris Leible, said a return to the Mets isn’t out of the question for the Mets’ southpaw, but the two sides still haven’t spoken.
“He’s not putting pressure on himself,” Leible said. “It’s not intense. He just started throwing. But it’s a big step and he expects to be ready for spring training.”
General manager Sandy Alderson sounded open to bringing back the two-time Cy Young Award winner during an appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN radio.
“I think that’s a possibility,” Alderson said. “I don’t really know what Johan’s thinking. We’ll talk to him, I’m sure, over the next couple of weeks, but I think he wants to pitch. We’ll just have to see what the market is for these guys, and how much of our resources we want to allocate to somebody coming off injury, or somebody you hope was able to pitch for you at a higher level.”
However, Andy Martino of the Daily News is reporting this morning, that the Mets and Santana are very likely to part ways according to what a team insider told him.
The Mets would not count on Santana, who has undergone major shoulder surgery twice since 2010, as the mid-rotation help they seek in the aftermath of Matt Harvey’s torn UCL. If they signed him, it would be more in the model of Chris Young and Shaun Marcum in recent years — rehabbing guys who might or might not be able to help.
It seems to me that both sides are ready to move on. When I said that to one team source, the person said, “that’s probably fair, but it’s premature to say never.”
Santana is still under contract with the Mets, though only for a few more weeks. The Mets will soon exercise the $5.5-million buyout on the rest of his contract, rather than pay him his $25 million team option for 2014.
Santana, 34, appeared in 109 games during his Mets tenure and went 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA while tossing the first no-hitter in franchise history.