The Rangers “took a hard look” at Twins righty Ervin Santana during his most recent outing, according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune (via Twitter). Texas is in need of rotation depth, as its current depth chart shows, and that may well remain an area of interest even if the club is able to add a higher-end starter. While the veteran Santana doesn’t come with a ton of upside at 33 years of age, he has long been a solid pitcher and would deliver some much-needed dependability. He has averaged over 180 innings annually dating back to his rookie campaign in 2005, and is still working with the same velocity and generating about the same swinging strike rate that he has for much of his career. Santana is owed $13.5MM this year and the two to follow, though, so there’d be some financial negotiating to work through.
Here are some more notable developments as the pitching market continues to take shape:
- Rays righty Alex Cobb will make his first rehab start on Wednesday, per a club announcement (h/t to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, via Twitter). Cobb, who is working back from Tommy John surgery, can remain on assignment for 30 days. His timeline probably isn’t a determining factor, but so long as he remains on track it certainly would make it easier for Tampa Bay to move a starter.
- Mariners righty Felix Hernandez is set to throw three simulated innings on Wednesday, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweets. If all goes well, it seems that he could soon begin a rehab stint — which could help Seattle assess its rotation needs as the deadline draws into focus.
- Asked about the possible need for pen reinforcement, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said today that his club “can’t ignore anything,” Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. St. Louis figures to be among many teams eyeing relievers over the next month. With Trevor Rosenthal losing his closing gig and Kevin Siegrist hitting the DL, an already somewhat-questionable unit has increasing concerns.
- The Red Sox are still angling to shift Joe Kelly into their big league bullpen, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports on Twitter. A final move won’t be made until after the All-Star break, once he’s completed his rehab stint. Clay Buchholz, too, could be moving back to the relief corps after failing to impress upon his return to the rotation, as Mastrodonato writes.
- The Yankees have temporarily bumped righty Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen, Chad Jennings of the Lo Hud Yankees Blog reports. It appears that he’ll be replaced in the rotation by Chad Green for now, but expectations are that Eovaldi will be back among the starting five after the All-Star break. Skipper Joe Girardi explained that the move was motivated by the team’s need to have arms ready for relief work, though clearly Eovaldi’s distinct struggles of late play a major role in the decision.