According to NJ.com, a source said the Yankees are one of several teams that are monitoring the progress of former Mets ace Johan Santana as he continues rehabbing from his shoulder surgery. The source requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the situation.
If the Yankees happen to miss out on Tanaka, they would still have to fill a slot for a starting pitcher. Their interest is limited in Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Ervin Santana. They could trade Brett Gardner for a starting pitcher but the Yankees have been extremely hesitant this offseason in doing so. The Yankees could also acquire a more affordable yet less reliable pitcher. The Yankees replicated the strategy in 2011 when they signed Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to small deals and for the most part received results.
Santana seems to fit what the Yankees are looking for but the major question in acquiring him would have to be his health. How reliable would Santana be for the Yankees if they signed him? Would he ever be able to get back into form and become the dominant pitcher he once was? Those are the huge question marks and risks the Yankees would have to think about if they take the chance an offer him a contract.