Rangers, with top pitchers injured, latest to check in on Ervin Santana

The Rangers, very likely concerned about injuries to their pitching staff, have now checked in on top free agent starter Ervin Santana, sources confirm.

Texas suffered one big loss to its rotation when Derek Holland needed knee surgery following an accident with his dog at home, and there is worry now about Matt Harrison, who is having an MRI on his troublesome lower back following early-spring stiffness.

At least the Orioles and Jays also have interest in Santana, the top starter remaining on the market. Santana has been a consistent and durable pitcher throughout his nine-year career, but his market has been slowed by the draft pick attached to him, as was the case with Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew and others.

The two injured Rangers pitchers are both lefthanders, but Santana is the one starting pitcher remaining on the market who figures to be a worthy replacement for either Holland, who is expected to be out until the All-Star break, or Harrison, who was sent to Dallas for the latest MRI.

Santana, 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA with the Royals last year, figures to be a decent fit for the Rangers or Jays since he's pitched his whole career in the American League, with success; despite bouts of poor run support he is 105-90 lifetime. The Orioles stayed in touch with Santana even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez for $50 million over four years, and the O's have kept spending, agreeing to an $8-million, one-year deal today with Cruz.

The Rangers had a huge winter, importing both Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, and figure to have one of the best offenses in the league. The pitching staff is similarly talented, but now appears somewhat vulnerable.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes mentioned the Rangers as a possibility.

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