Entering spring training, the New York Mets were optimistic that left-hander Johan Santana would be in the team's Opening Day rotation. Now, there appears to be "almost no chance" the veteran avoids the disabled list at the beginning of the regular season, according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News.
The Mets backed off Santana earlier this spring as they said his surgically-repaired shoulder was not ready for game action. Rather than rush the veteran back in order to have him break camp with the club, New York appears content keeping Santana on an adjusted timeline and putting him on the DL to start the season.
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Santana not being ready, coupled with the fact that veteran Shaun Marcum is still waiting to make his second spring training start, has the Mets in need of at least one additional pitcher. While there is speculation that the club could look outside the organization for help, team insiders tell Martino that New York will go with an in-house option.
The favorite is Jeremy Hefner, as insiders say he's "almost certain" to be the selection. Beyond Hefner, the Mets internal candidates also consist of Colin McHugh and Jenrry Mejia.
If the Mets are not satisfied with their in-house options, Martino says there are several players to be had from outside the organization. He lists Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello and free agent Chien-Ming Wang as potential fits for New York.