Ervin Santana

Ervin Santana throws against the Boston Red Sox last season. (Jim Rogash / Getty Images / April 21, 2013)

SARASOTA, FLA. -- With free agent right-hander Ervin Santana reportedly lowering his demands to a one-year contract, the Orioles are certainly interested.

And on Saturday afternoon Orioles manager Buck Showalter admitted that he had been updated on the club’s involvement with Santana by executive vice president Dan Duquette. But Showalter wouldn’t give the media any more information.

“I have a sense, yeah,” Showalter said. “I think everybody is talking about him to some extent.”

When asked if he and Duquette had talked Saturday specifically about Santana, Showalter smiled and said, “You are trying to make me lie? Yes [we have].”

Duquette was also asked Saturday about reports that Santana had signed with an unnamed American League team. “I haven’t heard that,” he said.

The Orioles have pursued Santana for much of the winter, but the 31-year-old reportedly was seeking a multi-year deal worth at least $50 million. If the demands have dropped – there is a question as to whether he has changed representation – the Orioles are in a good position to make a run.

Santana is tied to draft pick compensation, but the Orioles have already lost their first and second round picks in 2014 after signing Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz. So, acquiring Santana would cost only a third-round pick; all other teams would have to surrender a first- or second-round pick.

Santana was 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts last season in his lone season with the Kansas City Royals. He spent his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and has compiled a 105-90 record and a 4.19 career ERA.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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