Johan Santana skips winter ball for ‘medically-prescribed rest’

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Johan Santana and the Mets have decided against the rehabbing left-hander pitching in winter ball, with Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reporting that he’ll instead be “entering a long period of medically-prescribed rest that will preclude him from pitching.”

He last pitched in an instructional league game on September 30, but general manager Sandy Alderson described Santana as “feeling very good” and “looking forward to 2012.” And according to the GM the Mets are “optimistic” he’ll be at full speed in time for spring training.

Several setbacks ruined Santana’s plans of returning for some September action this season, but he’s now 13 months removed from shoulder surgery and owed $55 million for the next two seasons. He last pitched for the Mets on September 2, 2010.