The New York Yankees have 80 percent of their starting rotation set for the 2014 season, yet they still remain interested in other options.
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish has reported that the Yankees are one of eight teams interested in Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana; who will now become the latest pitcher to have his market heat up in the near future.
"Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana is drawing interest from eight teams including the Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. The Marlins and Cubs also recently inquired about him, but their interest does not appear to be too serious at this time."
The 31-year-old starter is coming off a season where he pitched to a 9-10 record with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts with 161 strikeouts in 211 innings for the surprising Royals last year and is looking to cash in on his strong season. As Cotillo mentioned, the Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers also have interest in Santana.
The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs are also interested, but not with the serious of interest the other six teams have on Santana. Santana's asking price was reportedly around the range of the four-year, $60 million range with the annual salary price being $15 million, but with Matt Garza getting a $50 million deal for four years, it may cause Santana's asking price to drop down.
The Yankees have committed over $470 million in salary to players such as Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian Roberts, Matt Thornton and most recently, Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees may not be willing to dish out as much cash to talent like they were over the last two months.
But even with the amount of money the Yankees have spent, they still have question marks surrounding the starting rotation since CC Sabathia is coming off a down season, Ivan Nova needs to be more consistent and Hiroki Kuroda is 39-years-old and struggled the last two months of the 2013 season, plus Tanaka never pitching in the United States before, thus why the Yankees have maintained their interest in the veteran right-hander.
With one rotation spot open, the Yankees may look elsewhere for one final starter; they've been linked to former New York Mets ace Johan Santana, so at this point, the Yankees signing the Royals pitcher will be a long-shot to happen, but one that you can't consider ruling out.
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