Mets decline Johan Santana's option, LHP hopes to pitch in 2014

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Santana could potentially return to the Mets on a more modest contract.

The New York Mets declined the 2014 option on Johan Santana's contract, first reported by Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com and confirmed by the team on Monday.

The Mets will pay Santana $5.5 million to avoid responsibility for his $25 million option next season. There is a chance that Santana could return to New York on a more modest deal, according to Rubin.

Santana signed a six-year, $137.5 million contract with the Mets before the 2008 after New York acquired the starter in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. He was excellent for the first three seasons of his contract, but serious shoulder issues caused him to miss all of 2011 and 2013.

The southpaw struggled when healthy during the 2012 season, going 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA over 21 starts. Santana still flashed moments of excellence, throwing the first and only no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Santana hopes to pitch in the majors during the 2014 season, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. He has resumed throwing again, and could become an interesting target for teams willing to gamble on a healthy campaign.

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