Archive for the ‘Ervin Santana’ Category


The budgetary issues that were supposed to keep the Atlanta Braves out of the final sprint for Ervin Santana may be a thing of the past, as last night Jim Bowden laid this on us:

A team owned by a publicly traded company that actually wants to win? Amazing. (And speaking of, on his show on the Fan 590 yesterday, Jeff Blair opined that he’s “not entirely certain MLB would approve another publicly traded company buying a franchise.” Hmmm. I wonder if the Jays’ experience subsidizing pointless excess Sportsnet channels with cheap content under Rogers’ corporate boot-heel might illustrate anything about all that.)

Update: It’s official now, Santana to the Braves.

Should this force me to change the screed any?  Since the Braves weren’t an option until very, very recently, and the Jays sat on their hands all winter, I’m going to say no. Smart decision on Ervin’s part, though, to go to a good NL team with a sudden need and a run environment that will look a whole lot better to whichever prospective employers next year don’t bother to pay attention to park and league factors.

Oh, and way to go, Jays. It’s better than having him land in Baltimore, I guess. And especially good on Atlanta, who didn’t have a need to fill three days ago, got hit with injuries, then simply went out and got this done. Funny fucking thing that, eh?

It seems already like we’ve discussed this ad nauseam, and I wasn’t planning to do it again today this much, but the opportunity arose in the comments on the post below this one to make clearer just why I think the Jays’ possible inaction on Ervin Santana is so upsetting. And rather than leave it all buried there, I figured it would be useful to make a full post out of it.

Plus I get to FJM a comment from RADAR! Because this is where we’re at, apparently.

To wit:

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Everybody panic!

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.


There would seem to be more at stake for the Toronto Blue Jays when it comes to signing Ervin Santana or not than just the marginal value he can provide the 2014 edition of the club, though that alone could legitimately be huge.

It may not, of course. Santana’s addition may only push them from being an 84-win team to an 86-win team, or a 79-win one to a 81-win one. Shit, they may already have enough talent, and have made up for enough of last year’s value leakage to be legitimately in the playoff conversation as constituted. No, really, it could happen! But just a little extra push could be vital.

You’d hate to be Alex Anthopoulos looking back in September at what this team could have been with just another couple of wins. And if you’re him and you don’t believe those to be relevant-enough to matter, what the hell are you doing with this club in the first place, and why didn’t you spend this winter retooling it significantly?

The GM should think this team is good enough for those couple of extra wins to mean something, and while they certainly may be able to skate through the AL East somehow without them, thanks presumably to projection-busting sources like Drew Hutchison or Marcus Stroman, the line about believing so much in the club’s internal options has lost nearly all of its power to compel now that it’s no longer being uttered to provide cover for those legitimately wary of this club giving a four-year deal to a guy like Santana.

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All sorts of varying reports this… er… what time is it? Morning?

Anyway, all sorts of reports today about Ervin Santana signing with the Jays. Or maybe the Orioles. Or maybe someone else if a better deal comes along by 5 PM. Or… well… why don’t you lay down and I’ll fill you in…

It started this morning, at least according to my timeline, with tweets from Jon Morosi and Buster Olney, with Morosi tweeting that he’s in Dunedin today and that the Jays people he spoke to were optimistic about their chances to sign Santana, while Olney added that the Jays have played their hand extremely well if they land him, “and they’re working on it.”

MLBTR then went whole hog, passing along a tweet from Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes, who said that the team and Santana had agreed on a one-year deal would pay him $14-million. Not so fast, though, tweeted Joel Sherman of the New York Post, saying that the deal was being worked on, but wasn’t done. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes then added that Santana indeed has a $14-million offer from the Jays and will sign it… if he doesn’t get a better one by 5 PM. But then, in a piece at also added that a deal from the Orioles is on the table: a $13-million one with performance incentives — something the Jays won’t do.

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