Ervin Santana rumors: Yankees, Twins and Orioles request medical records for pitcher

Jamie Squire

All three teams have needed help in the rotation this offseason and are showing at least cursory interest in Santana.

The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins have all requested medical records for free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Santana, 31, was arguably the top pitcher available at the outset of free agency this offseason, but has not seen much of a market develop for him to this point. Part of that may be his exorbitant contract demands -- he had been looking for around $112 million, more than many thought he would receive. He also turned down a qualifying offer from the Royals, meaning a team that signs him will be required to forfeit a draft pick.

The three teams putting in request for medical records all have had needs in their rotation this offseason. The Twins have made big moves already, signing Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey, but are still open to further upgrades as they look to make a huge overhaul from their league-worst starting staff in 2013. Still, signing Santana to a big contract may not fit the Twins plan any more.

Santana may be an unlikely fit for the Yankees. He is a fly ball pitcher who has struggled against left-handers for much of his career. Lefties have posted a .262/.333/.440 line against Santana. He has always had issues with giving up home runs and the short porch in right field in new Yankee Stadium could exacerbate those problems. In fact, Santana has made three starts in the Bronx since the Yankees moved to the new ballpark. Over those starts, he has allowed opponents to hit .343/.427/.557 against him. The Yankees are fixated on Masahiro Tanaka for now, but will likely sign another starter if Tanaka agrees to a deal elsewhere.

He has not had a great amount of success in Baltimore, either, but has pitched while in Camden Yards in recent years as opposed to earlier in his career. The Orioles' are searching for new starting pitchers in an effort to catch their pitching up to the level of their top offense. Chris Tillman was the team's only pitcher to top 200 innings in 2013, with Miguel Gonzalez the only other to reach 150 innings. Baltimore's front office has been reluctant to offer deals longer than three years, however, and do not want to give up a draft pick.

Thus, Santana is still left out waiting for some team to show more than a cursory interest in him with just a month to go until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. He is certainly hoping that Tanaka signing soon will open other teams up to considering him.

Other pitchers on the free agent market waiting to sign a new deal include Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Bronson Arroyo.

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