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Johan will rest rather than play winter ball

Johan will rest rather than play winter ball

Johan will rest rather than play winter ball
NEW YORK -- Roughly a week after the Mets wrapped up their 2011 season, Johan Santana's own season is about to come to a close.

Santana will shut down for the year when the Mets' instructional league includes on Saturday. Though the left-hander had considered playing winter ball in Venezuela to continue rehabbing his surgically-repaired left shoulder, Santana will instead rest in preparation for next season.

"Johan feels very good and is looking forward to 2012," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "We are optimistic that Johan will be able to begin and maintain a Spring Training schedule with all other Mets pitchers next February and will be ready for the start of the 2012 season."

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Rather than attempt a Major League comeback following several setbacks this season, Santana traveled to the instructional league in Fort Myers, Fla., where he has been idle since September. Pitching four innings in a game on Sept. 30, Santana has not seen any further instructional league game action. He will long toss and play light catch through Saturday, before entering a long period of medically-prescribed rest that will preclude him from pitching in winter ball.

Santana is now 13 months removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, and the Mets fully expect him to be ready for the start of Spring Training.

With two guaranteed years and a $25 million team option remaining on his six-year, $137.5 million contract, Santana has posted a 40-25 record with a 2.85 ERA over three seasons with the Mets. He made it as far as Class A St. Lucie in his rehab this summer, but ultimately suffered multiple setbacks and did not return to the Major Leagues.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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