Pirates Requested Medicals on Johan Santana

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re probably going to hear a lot of rumors saying “the Pittsburgh Pirates have expressed interest in (insert bounce back pitcher here)”. That’s mostly due to the indecision from A.J. Burnett, and the fact that the Pirates would need to look at other options to be prepared if Burnett retires.

Today’s bounce back pitcher of note is Johan Santana. Andrew Marchland of ESPN New York says that the Pirates were one of several teams who have shown some level of interest in the left-hander. He names eight teams: the Yankees, Mets, Twins, Rays, Orioles, Royals, Brewers, and Pirates.

Santana has missed two of the last three years with shoulder surgery, and is a big injury risk for that reason. The only year he pitched was in 2012 when he had a 4.85 ERA in 117 innings of work. Prior to 2011 he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Santana turns 35 in March.

Marchland says that he will throw in January to showcase himself, unless a team separates itself from the pack. Right now it seems that Santana will only get incentive-laden, non-roster invitee offers, according to Marchland, which is what Santana would hope to improve upon in January.

UPDATE 12:39 PM: Travis Sawchik says that the Pirates have requested medical information on Santana, and will meet with his camp today.

I wouldn’t expect a deal based on this. Sawchik says that it would be in Santana’s best interest to throw from a mound before getting serious about a contract.

Based on this report, and the report above, I’d say that Santana will wait until January to sign. He’s got a lot of interested teams, and his value can only go up if he looks good off the mound. The Pirates, or any other team, would probably have to take on a big risk to get him to sign now, as Marchland indicated above.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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