Report: Rangers took “a hard look” at Ervin Santana on Friday

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LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported on Sunday that the Rangers recently took “a hard look” at Twins starter Ervin Santana during his start on Friday. The right-hander went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

The Rangers are hard up for pitching depth, with a slew of quality pitchers on the disabled list, including Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, and Derek Holland. Behind ace Cole Hamels, the rotation currently includes Martin Perez, A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez, and Chi Chi Gonzalez. Perez and Griffin have been good thus far, while Martinez and Gonzalez have struggled in a small sample of starts. Adding a reliable veteran starter into the mix could go along way towards helping the Rangers maintain their stranglehold on first place in the AL West. They entered Monday’s action 52-31, leading the second-place Astros and Mariners by 8.5 games.

Santana, 33, has a meager 4.50 ERA with a 60/26 K/BB ratio in 84 innings. His strikeout rate is in decline for a second consecutive season, which might give interested teams pause for concern. He’s also owed the remaining balance of $13.5 million for this season and $13.5 million in 2017 and ’18, plus a $14 million club option for ’19.