According to Klapisch, the Mets hope Santana can show that he's healthy and productive so he can be traded this summer.
However, because of the mystery following the abrupt end to his 2012 season," Klapisch writes, "No GM would even contemplate acquiring Santana without proof that he’s healthy – a process that’ll take several months."
In either case, Klapisch believes the Mets will need to eat most of Santana’s salary to make a deal happen.
I'm really not sure what to expect from Santana this season. Whether he's dealt or not, the Mets need to find a way to maximize the $31 million they owe him this year. I don't expect him to be what he was before he had shoulder surgery, but I think there will be flashes and echoes of that pitcher along the way. Like last year, anything more than 20-25 effective starts from Santana would be a huge bonus for the team.
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Stats: Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts in 2012.
After his no-hitter on June 1, Santana went 3-7 with a 8.27 ERA over his final ten starts, and averaged just under five innings per start over that span. He lost his last five starts and had a 15.63 ERA in only 19 innings over that span.
He was placed on the disabled list and ended his season on August 22 after an MRI showed inflammation in his lower back.
Contract: Santana is entering the final year of a six-year, $137.5 million contract he signed with the Mets before the 2008 season. Santana will earn $25.5 million in 2013 and the team holds a $25 million option on Santana for 2014 – they can opt to buy the option out for $5.5 million and make Santana a free agent after next season.