After already committing to half a billion dollars in free agent signings this off-season, many thought the Yankees would be content to sit out the rest of the offseason, as they had apparently no interest in anybody still on the board.
But this is New York, and this is the Yankees. Who is not surprised that, according to recent reports , the Yankees have become major players for Royals starter Ervin Santana. Last year, Santana went 9-10 with a solid 3.24 ERA in Kansas City, accruing 2.9 WAR (baseball-reference).
At the moment, CC Sabathia heads a Yankees rotation that contains Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, recently-signed Masahiro Tanaka, and Michael Pineda/David Phelps - a solid group, but not the best in the league, or even the division. Question marks abound - is Sabathia in the decline, will Kuroda perform like the ace he was last year, has Nova finally turned the corner, what are we getting out of Masahiro Tanaka, is Michael Pineda still a good pitcher, who truly is David Phelps? Signing Santana would ease some fears by adding depth to the rotation.
But while adding depth, Santana would pose his own set of question marks. By far, 2013 was his best season, and uncharacteristically so. He averages 13-11 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.74 WAR, and has had 3 seasons with a 5.00+ ERA and was below-replacement level. At 31 years of age, we still don't quite know who he is - is he the solid #2 starter he was last year, or is he an inconsistent #4 or #5 starter at best?
All I can say definitely is that you can't count the Yankees out of any free agent yet.