Santana, Os nearing a Minor League deal

The Orioles are closing in on a Minor League deal with free agent pitcher Johan Santana.

Santana threw for numerous clubs — including the Orioles– last week and was at the team’s spring complex on Monday afternoon according to MLB.com and MLB Network Radio’s Jim Duquette. Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez also posted a photo with Santana.

Santana is rehabbing back from his second shoulder surgery and it would be interesting to see –if he signs– how the Orioles plan to use him. The lefty is still rehabbing and would be a guy they would likely keep in extended spring until he gets back to form. Santana’s velocity was reportedly in the 70s in his last audition.

Santana would be an interesting move for the Orioles, who have a lot of starting pitchers but space for lefties in the bullpen. The O’s are down Troy Patton, who is suspended for the first 25 games, and have a host of lefties in camp along with Brian Matusz, who is being stretched out as a starter. Santana has pitched in 360 career games, 284 starts, and is 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 76 relief appearances. His splits aren’t that drastic, holding right-handed hitters to a .225/.281/.364 career line and lefties to .240/.293/.394.

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