Johan Santana free agency: Auditions could begin soon

Al Bello

Santana could draw significant interest as a reclamation project.

Johan Santana expects to throw off a mound soon. As a result, he could choose to sign with a club and continue his rehab throughout camp this spring, or wait until he's closer to being game ready to showcase himself, as Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Santana, who will be 35 on Opening Day, did not pitch in the majors last year. He was forced to undergo surgery on his pitching shoulder, missing an entire season for the second time in his career. The list of pitchers that have had the same surgery is short, so the results Santana produces could be indicative of future recovery times for pitchers that sustain the injury.

The Twins have expressed interest in a reunion with Santana this offseason. From 2002 to 2007, he dominated hitters with Minnesota, going 90-41 with 2.92 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The team has already added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to their rotation this winter, but they remain active in their efforts to improve on a disappointing 2013 rotation. Santana's shoulder has limited him to just 117 innings since 2010, but if he can show that his health has improved, the two-time Cy Young winner's market could pick up.

The Yankees are keeping an eye on Santana as he works his way back into shape, and could take a closer look at his market if they fail to win the bidding for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka.

Johan has made the grueling journey back to the bigs before. In 2012, he pushed his way back to the highest level of competition and tossed the only no hitter in New York Mets' history.

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