Johan closing in on rehab assignment

Johan closing in on rehab assignment

MILWAUKEE -- Johan Santana made what could be his final extended spring outing on Tuesday, throwing 76 pitches over 4 1/3 innings. Santana, who has a June 1 opt-out clause in his contract, could begin a rehab assignment if he remains with the organization.

"I know what the people that are watching would like to do," manager Buck Showalter said, "But whether or not that is the conclusion it comes to, that's up to Dan [executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette], Johan and probably his agent, because I do think he probably has an out, and I know there are other teams watching him throw waiting to see what we are going to do."

Signed to a Minor League deal this spring, Santana is working his way back from a second shoulder surgery and could also make one more extended start to get stretched out a little more. Should he stay with the Orioles, he would be a rotation option for Baltimore's inconsistent starting staff.

"I think it's at the point now either he goes out or he pitches one more time [in extended]," Showalter said. "It's a matter of when. I'll let them figure that out, I think he is very close."

Right-hander Edgmer Escalona (shoulder inflammation) who threw three innings on Tuesday, will go out on a rehab assignment his next time out.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.