The New York Mets have decided that they do not want their left-handed ace, Johan Santana to compete in the World Baseball Classic. Santana is unlikely to represent his native Venezuela after the organization told him that they do not want him risking injury in the pre-season tournament.
Santana was reportedly eager to represent Venezuela as he did in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. However, as he ended last season on the disabled list and had shoulder surgery less than two years ago, there is no reason for Santana to risk injury.
The Mets will be paying the two-time Cy Young Award winner 31 million in 2013, as he nears the end of his contract. If Santana were to play for Venezuela, the WBC committee would have to agree to insure his contract. The committee is unlikely to insure such a large contract, and the final decision is the Mets to make.
The final WBC rosters must be submitted by Wednesday, and Santana will miss his last chance to represent his country in the tournament. Venezuela still has reigning MLB Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera and a team full of major-leaguers on their roster.
While Santana would be a welcomed addition to the Venezuelan rotation, the Mets are making the right decision here. There is no reason for Santana to play in the WBC after finishing last season on the disabled list. Santana hopes to be ready to pitch on opening day, and pitching in the tournament will only jeopardize that.