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Rockies check in on Ervin Santana, involvement may depend on Chacin

The Rockies are among the latest teams to check in on top free-agent starter Ervin Santana, joining at least the Orioles, Rangers and Mariners in the mix for the 31-year-old righthander.

The Blue Jays, who have yet to sign a starter, are another team that has talked to Santana.

Colorado actually had called earlier in the winter, but it is believed they touched base again since top starter Jhoulys Chacin went down with shoulder inflammation. While reports suggested Chacin has been shut down "indefinitely," Rockies people remain hopeful Chacin is OK. He has been sent for an MRI that may confirm that, but his condition could alter the outlook on their rotation.

The Rockies have tried to make a splash this winter, coming up short in a spirited attempt to land Cuban first baseman Jose Daniel Abreu, although they can't be seen as a favorite with bigger revenue teams with a clearer need in the mix. Colorado made a creative late play for Kyle Lohse last spring before he signed a guaranteed three-year, $33 million deal with the Brewers; the Rockies are believed to have offered Lohse a two-year guarantee with options that might have taken him to as much as four years.

The Orioles, even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz to enhance their roster drammatically, are said to have remained in touch with Santana. The Rangers also have checked in with Santana, though the likelihood of a Santana signing in Texas has been painted as something of a long shot in Texas circles.

The Mariners are still involved in the free-agent market and are also in contact with Kendrys Morales, who had a stellar year for them in 2013 and would make a logical cleanup hitter to bat behind $240 million import Robinson Cano.

The Jays have shocked folks with their lack of aggressiveness in pursuing free-agent pitchers, and may wind up depending on some kids, albeit talented kids, led by Aaron Sanchez.

 
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