Jan 14

Santana: WBC is Mets’ call.

SANTANA: WBC up in the air.

SANTANA: WBC up in the air.

Johan Santana plans to represent Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but said that won’t be his call.

“It will be a medical decision,’’ Santana said this morning in a conference call. “The team will need to approve it. … There are a lot of things here that the Mets want to protect, and if they don’t want me to play I will not play.’’

Santana had arthroscopic surgery in October to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and has not begun his off-season throwing.

He will be examined next week in Port St. Lucie, and then could begin a long-toss throwing program.

“I want to play, but at this point I don’t really know what’s going to happen,’’ Santana said. “If everything is not right they will not let me go.’’

Jan 13

Braves get Lowe. What’s next?

Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.

Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.

The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.

Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.

John Maine: Coming off surgery.

Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.

Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.

Jan 13

Ouch!

If GM Omar Minaya isn’t confident, then there’s no reason for you to be.

Minaya placed the odds at “50-50” the Mets will add a bigger-named pitcher than Tim Redding, saying, “you’re never too confident.”

Here’s why.

With reports of the Braves having a $60 million package on the table for Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez wanting four years while the Mets prefer three, they could be forced to fall back on Randy Wolf and Pedro Martinez.

I like Redding as a fifth starter, but if all this pans out, he could end up fourth which leaves the Mets vulnerable in the back end of the rotation.

All that work fixing the bullpen could be wasted if twice a week the Mets aren’t going deep into the game with their starter.