Eschewing crystal balls and tarot cards, Johan Santana plopped down on the cushy black dugout bench and acknowledged he does not have a read on his future. This could be it for the 33-year-old left-hander, one last $25.5 million season in Queens before he seeks shelter in another major league city.
Instead of peering around that corner, Santana seems determined to adopt a nearsighted approach. The Mets’ ace is willing to accept the haze of 2014 and beyond so long as his 2013 season comes into sharper focus.
“I don’t think about it,” Santana said during a 13-minute chat with reporters Tuesday morning. “I’m more [concerned] about my health than anything. I just want to make sure I play throughout the whole season and help as much as I can. What’s going to happen in the future I don’t really know. I’ve just got to stay healthy and see what the future will bring.”
If past is prologue, these next eight months could be dicey. Santana did not throw a major league pitch in 2011. He made 21 starts in 2012 – one of which turned into the most magical start in franchise history – before the Mets shelved him for good in August.
His glittery no-hitter aside, Santana was disappointed with the trajectory his season took during the dog days.
“It ended up in a way that I didn’t want it to,” Santana said. “But at the same time, I knew I needed a rest. And they wanted me to rest. I [spent] the off-season just trying to recover from everything and I feel good right now. [I’m] definitely looking forward to 2013 being a new year and being better.”
Asked if he had any regrets about those 134 pitches he threw during that epic night in Queens, Santana said, “No, not at all.”
“It had nothing to do with it,” Santana said. “That’s past. It was a great experience, it was great, but you can’t go back and just point out that that’s what happened, ’cause that’s not even close.”
Mets' Johan Santana focused on the present and his health
Bergen Record | Feb 13