DALLAS – The Orioles purchased the contract of two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday evening and placed him on the 15-day major league disabled list as he continues to rehab from left shoulder surgery.
In doing so, the club added Santana to its 40-man roster just before a Monday midnight deadline when he could have exercised an opt-out clause in the minor league deal he signed in March.
The Orioles believe Santana could join the major league club later this month.
“We can see through the process we started a few weeks ago,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “A couple more outings, and he should be able to help the major league team from the information we’re getting.”
Santana didn’t pitch in an extended spring training game Monday as scheduled, but he is set to make one more start in Florida on either Tuesday or Wednesday. One of the keys to Santana’s rehab was getting on a normal starting pitcher’s schedule as he worked to regain arm strength, a feel for his pitches and his in-between start work.
After pitching this week in extended spring training, Santana likely will join a minor league affiliate for a rehab assignment. The Orioles’ initial plan was for Santana to join the big league club on June 18 or 19 after two rehab starts.
“He’s still got some work to do,” Duquette said. “We’ll see where he’s at after he throws this week. He’s making good progress. He’s made a couple of good starts. He’ll have one more start in Florida and we’ll see if he wants to pitch at a higher level.
“This will give us a little more time, and hopefully he will be up later in the month helping the big league club."
Santana, 35, won American League Cy Young Awards with the Minnesota Twins in 2004 and 2006, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since Aug. 17, 2012 and is coming off a second shoulder surgery in a three-year span.
As part of Santana's minor league deal, he would receive a $3 million salary when he was added to the 25-man roster and could make up to $5 million with incentives based on the number of starts he makes.
Orioles assistant trainer Chris Correnti, who worked with Santana during his first rehabilitation from shoulder surgery with the New York Mets, is also supervising his rehab this time. Correnti’s involvement was initially a significant factor in Santana signing a minor league deal with the Orioles this spring.
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