Between his buyout and salary, the Mets owe Santana $31 million next season. That, along with his full no-trade clause, a seriously questionable shoulder and ability to withstand a full season have to be keeping teams away. I would expect the Mets to put feelers out there for Santana, but I have little doubt he will be with the Mets next season.
The funny thing is, we as fans tend to harp on the negative impact Santana is having on this team. Yes, his salary is brutal, but he did accomplish a lot in 2012 and threw a no-hitter in between. Based on that, his athleticism, competitiveness and determination, I think there is hope Santana can still contribute at a high level next season. Hopefully the extra rest (Terry Collins said in August he would not throw between the date he went on the DL and sometime in January) and a normal winter routine will benefit Santana which will enable him to withstand an entire season in 2013.
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Stats: Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts this season. 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 on August 22 (retroactive to August 18) after an MRI showed inflammation in his lower back and will not pitch again this season.
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.