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Johan Santana could join Orioles' starting rotation by mid-June

Johan Santana (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Johan Santana last pitched in the majors on Aug. 17, 2012, for the Mets. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana could join the Orioles' rotation by mid-June as long as he does not exercise his opt-out clause on Friday, manager Buck Showalter said before Wednesday's game in Milwaukee.

Santana would start one more extended spring training game, then start at Double-A or Triple-A and finally make his Orioles debut on June 18 or 19, Showalter said, according to MLB.com.

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"He has got to approve it, they have to approve it," Showalter said. "So we're not there yet, but that's tentatively [the plan].

"Ideally, the last outing would be six innings if the other club would cooperate," Showalter added. "If these three options work out, he'd be an option for us. It's one thing being able to get through it, it's another thing to have people evaluate whether it will work up here."

The 35-year-old is rehabbing his left shoulder after having surgery in April 2013, the second surgery on the shoulder in a 31-month span.

Santana missed all of 2011 and 2013, and went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts for the Mets in 2012. He also notched a no-hitter in June of 2012.

He is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA in 360 career appearances (284 starts) in 12 major league seasons — eight with the Twins, four with the Mets — and is a four-time All-Star.

Orioles starters have a 4.66 ERA in 51 games, which is ranked 26th in baseball. Baltimore (26-25) is in third place in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the Blue Jays.

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