The left-hander has not pitched in a Major League game since Sept. 2, 2010. Santana missed the entire 2011 campaign after having anterior shoulder capsule surgery on his pitching shoulder. He tossed four innings in an instructional league game in September and has continued his rehab during the offseason in hopes of returning for Opening Day.
Santana played catch Thursday with pitching coach Dan Warthen, who said the 32-year-old hurler appears to be in better form than he was in when he last manned a Major League mound.
"I feel good," Santana told The Associated Press. "I'm very excited about this, finally having the opportunity to start Spring Training from the beginning and do all the drills and everything and be part of the team."
Santana, who has three years remaining on his contract, has compiled a 40-25 record and 2.85 ERA in three seasons with the Mets.