Earlier today Jeff Shultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote about the Braves situation with Kris Medlen, who left yesterday’s game with a forearm strain and is undergoing an MRI with Tommy John fears looming. I wrote about this in the previous post, but for the sake of completeness here, to recap, on the possibility of Atlanta jumping into the chase for Ervin Santana, he figured “there’s probably no money left to bring in somebody from the outside now, and there’s no reason to believe the organization will change course in philosophy since they didn’t show any desire to spend in the winter.”
However, an hour later his colleague, David O’Brien, laid this on us:
Initially I didn’t think there was anything to the idea of the Braves pursuing him, but now with Beachy having more issues (he left today’s start against the Phillies after two innings due to biceps tightness), I’m hearing from a person connected to the Royals that the Braves are making a run at the free agent. How serious that is, I don’t know yet.
Realistically, with Santana supposedly asking for at least $14 million in a one-year offer and with the Twins reportedly having a three-year offer of about $33 million on the table for Santana, I couldn’t see the Braves going $10 million over their budget to bring in a guy who’s been inconsistent in recent years and has had some elbow concerns of his own. But that was before Beachy left today’s game. Now, I think the Braves feel like they need to see if it’s possible to get a proven starter (and one who had a 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 211 innings last season for the Royals.
There could indeed be a legitimate issue with Beachy, which would really ratchet up the pressure on Atlanta to find some pitching. From an update in Schultz’s piece, he explained:
“I’ve seen the doctor; my ligament is fine. The biceps is a little too tight. It’s difficult to describe. When I went down in 2012 it was a stabbing sensation. Last year it was a fullness in the joint and (discomfort) shooting out all over.”
Asked if he thought he would be ready when the season opens in three weeks, he said, “We’ll see. We’ll see how it recovers.”
With so much money locked into this Braves team, it would be hard for them to sit idly by and not take this opportunity to grab a pitcher who could really help them. Because, y’know, presumably they’re an organization that actually gives a shit about winning and doing right by all that money they’ve committed and the people they spent it on. Weird, huh?
They’re also a team with unseemly corporate ownership, though, and we know how difficult it can getting budget approvals out of those soul-crushing enterprises or convincing them, apparently, how important winning is to a robust bottom line. So… who knows? But if you’re Santana, going to the National League for your pillow deal probably sounds pretty enticing.
Or maybe it doesn’t matter.
Drew gave us an excellent roundup on the situation this morning at Getting Blanked, nailing as he explained that “putting together a good season in terms of ERA and wins playing in front of a superlative defense in a pitcher’s park doesn’t pay like it used to.”
In other words, thanks to advances in analysis, maybe where he ends up trying to make his next paycheque isn’t as big a concern as it used to be. Then again, it’s probably more likely that it just shouldn’t be such a concern, though it often still is (Josh Johnson says hi).
There are a few people on Twitter saying that maybe Santana just doesn’t want to come here, but last night I tweeted why I tend to not think that’s the case. (Give me a follow when you click that, while you’re at it!). So… I don’t know… we continue to wait and see and hope to finally put this behind us, one way or the other (but hopefully the good way), and get on to some actual baseball stuff soon.
The number of excuses for not getting this deal done — or not getting it done before the Braves had reason to swoop in — continues to be fucking zero, though. So… there’s that.