Johan Santana is planning to pitch for Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic but hasn't received the approval of his primary employer.
Santana, 33, started 21 games for the Mets last season, including a no-hitter on June 1 in his first season back from shoulder surgery. He was shut down in August with an ankle injury and inflammation in his back, and general manager Sandy Alderson said Wednesday the Mets haven't given Santana the authorization he needs to pitch in the WBC.
"It's a complicated situation," Alderson said. "Just because of his injury and the fact that he did not pitch at the end of last season. As a result, he has to go through a physical and a review panel. ... Ultimately, he needs our permission to play."
Santana has $31 million remaining on his contract. He pitched for Team Venezuela in 2006 but missed the most recent event in 2009 with a knee injury.