Johan Santana is officially a free agent, as the Mets declined his $25 million option for 2014 and paid him a $5.5 million buyout.
It was obviously a no-brainer move, as Santana missed the entire season following shoulder surgery and is no sure thing to be ready for the beginning of next year. He’ll likely be looking for an incentive-laden one-year contract on the open market and publicly at least the Mets have indicated they’re interested in re-signing him for a much, much lower price.
Santana last saw action in an MLB game on August 17, 2012. He ended up throwing 717 innings with a 3.18 ERA for the Mets while making $137.5 million.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: