Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Johan Santana’s $25 million option for 2014 will become a player option, instead of a team option, if he pitches 215 innings this season and he’s on the active roster for the final 30 days of the regular season, Joe Janish points out in a post to MetsToday.
There are other ways the option could kick in, such as competing for a Cy Young Award or throwing 300 innings, but they’re unlikely to happen.
However, it is possible Santana pitches 215 innings. I doubt it will happen, given his history and how his Spring is progressing, but it’s the most probable scenario out of the possible options. The thing is, as was the case with Francisco Rodriguez in 2011, I assume this front office will do whatever is necessary to either trade Santana or keep that option from being attainable.
If he’s pitching well, I’d be open to seeing the Mets rip up his option and renegotiate some sort of extension. I’m a Johan fan, and I think he can be like Pedro Martinez, redefining himself and being successful with a smaller workload going forward. But, he’d have to be open to that situation and I have no what he or his agents are thinking for beyond this season.
The more likely result is Santana pitching well and being traded before the end of July. He’ll have value, especially if the Mets are open to eating a bulk of his remaining salary. The level prospect Sandy Alderson acquires will greatly depend on Santana’s health, stamina and the money being paid, so it’s foolish to speculate on what a deal could look like.