Johan Santana is headed for shoulder surgery, making this the third straight year the high-priced New York Mets ace will spend the offseason recovering from an operation.
The Mets said they anticipated Santana would be OK to resume throwing next spring. But the left-hander acknowledged doctors told him it was “not a common injury” to his pitching shoulder, and Santana said the most important thing was for him to get healthy.
“Whether it’s April, May, July, October,” Santana said Friday. “Who knows? Time will tell.”
An MRI exam on Thursday showed the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner has a torn anterior capsule on the front and bottom of his pitching shoulder. The 31-year-old Santana was 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA.
Santana left his start a week ago Thursday in Atlanta after five innings because he felt tightness in his shoulder. He told manager Jerry Manuel he could keep pitching but was taken out as a precaution. The Mets later announced he had a strained pectoral muscle and listed him as day-to-day.
“I didn’t know the magnitude of the injury I had,” Santana said. “I was told it’s going to take time.”
Santana said he’d prefer to have the surgery soon so he could begin his rehabilitation. His 2009 season was cut short by Sept. 1 surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow, and in October 2008, he had arthroscopic surgery on torn cartilage in his left knee right after the season ended.
Santana has three seasons left on his $137.5 million, six-year contract.
“I feel he will fulfill those next three years,” Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. “Hopefully, we’ll have him back sooner than later.”
AROUND THE HORN
Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen is tentatively scheduled to undergo a season-ending diagnostic surgical procedure on his left knee Sept. 17. … Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins did not play Friday because of tightness in his right hamstring. … The Athletics purchased the contract of left-hander Bobby Cramer from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the fifth spot in their rotation. He will start Monday at Kansas City. … Pat White, a former quarterback for the Miami Dolphins who was released last week, signed a minor league contract with the Royals. He hasn’t played baseball since high school but has been drafted by three major league teams since then. … The Reds moved right-hander Aaron Harang to the bullpen. He spent two months on the disabled list because of back spasms, then struggled in two starts after being activated. … The Pirates released infielder Aki Iwamura, who hit .182 in 54 games. … Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez began serving a three-game suspension for his part in a brawl with the Nationals last week. He’ll miss this weekend’s entire series, also against the Nationals. Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan had his appeal heard Friday and played in the game. He was suspended eight games for his role in the brawl.