New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has focused his efforts on improving his lineup this offseason, but the pitching staff has yet to be addressed other than the re-signing of Hiroki Kuroda.
Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the Yankees have shown preliminary interest in left-handed starter Johan Santana, though no agreement is imminent between the two parties. In fact, it's unknown as to whether or not an offer has even been extended.
Sources: Yanks have interest in J. Santana http://t.co/SQLftHmskL One of 8 teams— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) December 11, 2013
Santana would represent the first significant addition in the way of a pitcher this offseason for the Yankees, as it was widely assumed that Kuroda was going to re-sign. With him back in the fold, the rotation figures to include CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and himself.
David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren appear as if they'll be competing for a starting spot if Cashman doesn't make any more moves, and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Michael Pineda will also be competing for a spot in spring training.
Cashman said Michael Pineda is healthy and will come to camp to compete for a spot in the rotation.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 10, 2013
The final two spots are huge question marks, and there's no doubting the fact that there are significant upgrades available on the market.
Should the Yankees pursue Johan Santana?
Santana hasn't been completely healthy since 2010, but a one-year, incentive-laden deal wouldn't be a bad idea for Cashman. If nothing else, Santana can provide the club with 20 quality starts (close to 120 innings) before giving way to a guy like Phelps or Pineda.
While Santana hasn't been a hot topic of conversation at the winter meetings, Marchand reports (in the same link) that the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates have also shown varying levels of interest.
Winner of the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006, Santana owns a career record of 139-78 over parts of 12 big league seasons. He's the owner of the Mets' lone no-hitter in franchise history and is also a four-time All-Star.
A one-year deal in the $10 million range would be a safe move for Cashman and the Yankees. Incentives could bring a potential deal up to $12 million based on the number of starts or innings he posts.
He may not sign during the winter meetings, but Santana will be a popular option once the likes of Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are off the board.