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.
With Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza recently off the board, Santana's market is expected to heat up in the near future, with league sources speculating that teams like the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Royals and Tigers could become involved.
Things have been quiet on the Santana front since Thursday, and sources caution that it is "still early" in the process.
One source notes that the Blue Jays are the "most obvious fit" for Santana, and that "the fans in Toronto will be very disappointed" if the team fails to sign either Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez. There is a belief that the Jays will try to wait for Santana's price to come down before making a serious pursuit, but a source cautions that other teams are "going to leave the Jays wishing they had pulled the trigger".
The Cubs inquired about Santana's availability, but sources indicate that the draft pick compensation tied to him makes a match unlikely between the two sides. I am told that "it's not impossible" for the Cubs to sign Santana, but it doesn't seem probable.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Santana has recently been asking for a four-year deal in the $60 million range, but Garza's four-year, $50 million deal with the Brewers may cause Santana to bring down his asking price. Unlike Garza, Santana will cost a team a draft pick due to his refusal of the Royals' qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason.