Johan Santana probably faces season-ending surgery on the left shoulder that also sidelined the pitcher for all of 2011, New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told reporters.
Santana, 34, a left-hander who last season became the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter, is owed $25.5 million this year. He has played one full season since signing a six-year, $137.5 million deal when he joined the Mets in 2008.
“A second surgery is a strong possibility,” Alderson said last night in a conference call. “If this diagnosis proves to be correct, I think in all likelihood Johan will be lost to the Mets for the season.”
Santana hasn’t pitched in an exhibition game during Major League Baseball spring training because of arm weakness. Alderson said a scan revealed the probable tear.
The four-time All-Star is 46-34 and has had surgery on his left elbow, right knee and left shoulder since moving to New York.
“I am not a doctor, nor am I a medical historian,” Alderson said, “but these injuries are very difficult to recover from after one surgery, and I’m not sure what the history is of recovering from a second more or less identical surgery.”
Peter Greenberg, the pitcher’s agent, told the Associated Press that Santana didn’t have any comment yet.
Santana, who won the Cy Young Award as the American League’s best pitcher in 2004 and 2006 while with the Minnesota Twins, went 6-9 for the Mets last season before being sidelined in August with inflammation in his lower back.
Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Johan has had an exceptional career,” Alderson said. “We all hope that career will continue.”