Johan Santana expecting to be healthy for spring training

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Santana missed all of 2013 and is likely to become a free agent this offseason with a return to the Mets a possibility.

Starting pitcher Johan Santana has been rehabbing his shoulder and expects to be ready for spring training in 2014, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. He began a throwing program last week.

More Mets coverage: Amazin' Avenue

Santana is almost certain to become a free agent this offseason with the New York Mets opting to give him a $5.5 million buyout to avoid paying the $25 million that picking up his option would entail.

Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson did not rule out the possibility of re-signing Santana after buying out his option. The team could then bring him back for a significant discount. Santana's agent says the team has not yet opened any discussions about signing his client, though Santana would be open to a return.

Santana, 34, missed all of 2013 after surgery to repair a tear in the capsule of his left shoulder. The same injury also caused him to miss all of the 2011 season. In between, he started 21 games for the Mets in 2012 and posted a 4.85 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

With Matt Harvey out for 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, the Mets have said they would look to sign a mid-range starter in the offseason. Santana, a two-time Cy Young winner, would certainly fit the bill with a healthy amount of upside.

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