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Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are two of the top free agent starters that remain unsigned as pitchers and catchers report to spring training and all signs point to three teams chasing the two pitchers.
According to the latest MLB rumors from CBS Sports, Jimenez is drawing interest from the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have been mentioned as a suitor throughout the offseason, while Seattle and Baltimore have been linked to a number of free agent starters. All three teams are reportedly also keeping tabs on Ervin Santana.
The report indicates a deal with either one of the starting pitchers would command a contract within the range of three years and $33 million, similar to the one Kyle Lohse signed last year and the four year, $50 million contract Matt Garza was inked to this winter.
The Cleveland Indians had shown interest in Jimenez earlier in the offseason, but contact between the two sides has dwindled and a deal is considered a long shot at this point. Another one of Jimenez’s former clubs, the Colorado Rockies, checked in on Santana but not Jimenez.
Jimenez garnered interest form the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers back in January. Of course, that was before the Bronx Bombers paid to bring Masahiro Tanaka to the Big Apple. The Rangers, on the other hand, have been quiet throughout the offseason in terms of adding to their rotation. According to the team’s website, the team could still look to add more pitchers.
Santana is coming off a career season with the Kansas City Royals. His asking price at the start of free agency was reportedly in the five-year, $112 million range. That seems very unlikely at this point, though. The Jays, Mets, Diamondbacks and Mariners have all been linked to the 31-year-old.
Baltimore hoped to upgrade its rotation and previously made a push to land A.J. Burnett, who was flirting with retirement before signing a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Burnett was a top priority for the club, and the Orioles have not made a move to sign any other starter since missing out on Burnett. Reports indicated that if the team couldn’t get Burnett that both Jimenez and Santana would be its fallback options.
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