Santana, still rehabbing after tearing his Achilles last summer while a member of the Baltimore Orioles organization, is scheduled to make his Venezuelan winter league debut Tuesday and will throw three innings or 40 pitches. The 35-year-old will then progressively increase his workload the rest of the winter before hopefully joining a team for spring training.
Santana hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2012.
"Johan wants to go out on his own terms," Peter Greenberg, Santana's agent, said. "He doesn't want to go out because an injury put him out. He's worked very hard and kept himself in shape, and he's never thought about retiring.
"It's not about the money or anything like that. He's said he wants to draw his own ending. He wants to go out on his own terms. He's told me, 'I want to add to my legacy.' I think anybody who knows him is going to bet on him."
But Santana missed the entire 2011 season after shoulder surgery and made just 21 appearances in 2012 due to assorted injuries. He missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing shoulder surgery again, and failed to return to the majors last year due to the Achilles injury after signing a minor league deal with the Orioles in March.
It's unclear when Santana will be fully healthy, and it's unknown what teams could have interest in signing the veteran.
Santana has gone 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA over his 12-year career. In 2012, Santana went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA for the Mets.
- Ben Estes