Blue Jays Acquire Sergio Santos

The Blue Jays acquired reliever Sergio Santos from the White Sox for righty prospect Nestor Molina, announced the team.

Santos

In Santos, 28, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos found his closer on the trade market.  The converted infielder posted a 3.55 ERA, 13.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.85 HR/9, and 43% groundball rate in 63 1/3 innings for the White Sox this year, saving 30 games in 36 tries.  He was formerly a shortstop in Toronto's minor league system from 2006-08.  It was surprising to see Santos (pictured) dealt, as there had been no rumors and he signed a three-year, $8.25MM deal with the Sox in September.  The contract includes three club options, so the Blue Jays have cost certainty on Santos potentially through 2017.  For fantasy analysis of Toronto's Santos acquisition, check out Bryan Grosnick's post at CloserNews.    

Molina, 22, posted a 2.21 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 130 1/3 innings across High and Double-A this year.  Molina is a converted infielder himself, and appears close to MLB-ready.  Though Molina was not among the Blue Jays' top 30 prospects in Baseball America's handbook before the season, his stock presumably rose with his excellent 2011.  Molina is a good prospect who doesn't offer much projection, writes ESPN's Keith Law.  Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus agrees, saying "his stuff falls well below his statistics," and he projects as a #4 starter with a shot at becoming a #3.

"This is the start of a rebuilding," White Sox GM Kenny Williams told reporters today, noting that it is not "the start of falling domino rebuilding."  Santos himself was affordable, but perhaps Williams preferred a future rotation candidate in Molina.  A lot is riding on Molina after this surprising one-for-one swap.  Given Williams' rebuilding comment, look for plenty of rumors regarding John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin, and others in the coming weeks, although the offers have disappointed Williams to date.  

Anthopoulos and Williams matched up once before, on the July deal that sent Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart to Chicago for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen.  

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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366 Comments on "Blue Jays Acquire Sergio Santos"


Ben_Cherington
3 years 7 months ago

Wow, didnt see that.   AA pulling more rabits out of his hat!

$5427573
3 years 7 months ago

Is he supposed to be the Jays new closer? I’m kinda disappointed if he is.

-upon actually doing research, was a dumb knee-jerk comment. Great trade for the Jays. Good value going both ways

Neil Tatro
3 years 7 months ago

probably because u dont know any better.. santos graded out as having the #1 out pitch in all of baseball with his slider. with mid-high 90’s heat to go along with it, hes dominating

garylanglais
3 years 7 months ago

AA does it again.  This guy is unbelievable.  We can now lump Santos into the “Bronson Arroyo Club” of those players who signed club-friendly deals only to see it used as a way to ship them out of town. 

3 years 7 months ago

Uh, he gave up his best relief pitching prospect with an absurd K/BB rate for a guy who was more ready. This is hardly a genius move and won’t be seen otherwise.

“AA does it again” – I laugh and think of Napoli anytime anyone ever declares AA a genius, he isnt. 

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

 Wow, how many times can it be said: Napoli would have been a bench player in Toronto. No playing time, blocked at every position by someone who already had an everyday job. He wouldn’t have had his breakout year.

3 years 7 months ago

He was blocked at DH by Encarnation? Either AA is delusional or you are for refusing to admit he made an actual bad deal and a mistake.

AA is good but holy ^%$%& do the posters on here overrate the hell out of him. All his big successes have had more to do with the Angels and White Sox not being run intelligently, not AA being good at his job. He’s not a dummy, but he’s definitely not a genius.

garylanglais
3 years 7 months ago

Last year was the first year Molina has shown anywhere close to that type of “absurd” K rate.  AA filled the Blue Jays biggest need with someone who just converted to being a pitcher and did it damn well in his first season full time.  Oh and he’s signed to essentially a 6 yr/30m contract! This in a market where good/very good Closers are going for $10m+ AAV. Its a damn good move

grownice
3 years 7 months ago

 When youve had JPR as your gm for a while trsut me , anything AA does is fantastic lol Calm down with the hate for fans who have faith in their GM its a rare thing, hes only been here for 2 years and made mostly quality moves , the Napoli one wasnt. You cant bat 1.000! Let them justify everything he does , theyre a bit delusional sometimes and ima huge AA/Jays fan.

FriedCalamari
3 years 7 months ago

It’s easy to say that now. I would say he lost the trade, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad one. He filled a need. FF was lights out after the AS break.

cyberboo
3 years 7 months ago

Why are people still talking about Napoli, prior to 2011, who was a .250 hitter, with 20 home run power in a bench role.  Mathis was the every day catcher, not Napoli, who spent time at first and DH to get at bats. That is the player AA traded.  Just an FYI, but when Napoli caught fire in Texas, so did E5.  Napoli hit .365, E5 hit .361. Napoli hit 17 home runs, E5 hit 15, Napoli drove in 41 runs, E5 drove in more at 43.  Napoli had a 1.083 OPS, E5 had a 1.058 OPS during the same time period.  If Napoli is on Toronto, neither player comes close to matching their second half stats, because its impossible to hit a ball on the bench.  When fans accept reality, perhaps then these stupid posts about post season Napoli will end.  The trade was made before the season started, NOT after it ended. 

FriedCalamari
3 years 7 months ago

 I concur.

okbluejays
3 years 7 months ago

People talk about it because, well the smart fans and anayst knew that Napoli was being burried in Anaheim for some reason, and when Toronto traded for him we were all excited as he could’ve been an excellent DH (much better than EE..which I was arguing with people on here about last year) and can also spell Arencibia from time to time. I was highly annoyed and sad when they just dumped Napoli for a useless reliever that ended up being crap anyways. Anyone with a brain knew Napoli would excel in Arlington, just like he would have in Toronto.

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

They had no need for Napoli. They had a need for relievers. Your comment is based on emotion, and viewed in hindsight.

suhiscrazierthanyou
3 years 7 months ago

which is why Texas was the only team to figure this out? come one man, that’s ridiculous

jedicouncil
3 years 7 months ago

from what i remember, AA didnt want to go to arbitration with napoli, arencibia was given the full time job and molina was there to mentor him.  encarnacion was promised playing time or hopes to be a type b something along those lines.  at least the jays will get a type b pick from fransisco, in the ened its better than having wells at 21 million per season.

suhiscrazierthanyou
3 years 7 months ago

it’s clear, everyone prefers Mathis but Texas…

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

*sigh* Reading into my comment. I’ve never claimed Anthopolous is a “genius” nor do I think of anything he does with any emotion. Yes, Encarnacion was going to be DH/3B. Lind was going to be everyday 1B. Arencibia was going to be everyday catcher. Napoli was dealt because they saw nowhere for him to play and he wasn’t a long term piece. All I’m doing is repeating what has been said dozens of times on the Blue Jays 2011 plans.

WarvsBA
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand why hes overrated, yes jays fans can be annoying, but in a few years he has made a good team with a low payroll and one of the best farm systems in the game, that has graduated players like Lawire. To say he not a genius because he does not win every trade by a landslide is crazy high expectations. Every team in baseball makes moves they regret, its not like trading Napoli crippled this franchise, keeping them would not have got them into the playoffs so its no big deal really, yea they could have maybe got more for him if they held onto him this year then the draft pick and a year of a closer but its not really that bad. Tim who runs this website said last week that AA has had the best start to being a GM that he can ever think of so thats high praise. Jays fans should be happy hes done a really good job.            

3 years 7 months ago

 It’s not that he didn’t hold onto Napoli. It’s that he only got Frank Francisco for him.

Mick_In_Ithaca
3 years 7 months ago

Which is all anybody could’ve gotten for him because, as has been pointed out, the trade occurred before the season began. It was fair value. He was easy to trade because of the value he had at the time, and the fact that he had no role on the Jays. (Unlike this trade of Molina, which must’ve been hard. The White Sox got a good player.)

That being said, I don’t think any GM is a genius. But AA is proving himself one of the top GMs in the game, and the Napoli trade does nothing to mitigate that.

3 years 7 months ago

what did the angels get for him? oh yeah, Vernon Wells. Like its been said time and time again, FF for Napoli at the time was fair value…the angels thought the same.

3 years 7 months ago

Never said the Angels weren’t morons. It’s why Reagins no longer has a job.

Shortty
3 years 7 months ago

Molina has had 5 years in the minors and has only 5 games at the AA level. It took him 4 and a half years to get out of A ball. Great deal for the jays

3 years 7 months ago

Not quite. Must have missed the part where he was a converted infielder.

3 years 7 months ago

Not quite yourself.

3 years 7 months ago

More like 3 1/2. 1 game in 2007 doesn’t really count.

3 years 7 months ago

molina is 23, santos was a converted infielder.

3 years 7 months ago

Somebody needs to do a better job of reading articles and clicking links for players to figure out how long they’ve been at certain levels.

3 years 7 months ago

Here, let me help you: “Molina is a converted infielder himself, and appears close to MLB-ready.” IN the article itself.

2007: 1 game at Rookie Level
2008: 20 games at Rookie (1 year)
2009: Rookie and A-Ball (2nd Year)
2010: A & High A (3rd Year)
2011: 21 games at High A and 5 games at AA (4th Year)

DOES NOT EQUAL “taking 4 and a half years to get out of A ball” as shortty suggested. He spent time in AA this season.

Billy McCreight
3 years 7 months ago

We didn’t need Napoli, we shipped him off for something we needed.  How is that stupid? It would’ve been dumber for him to keep a C/1B/DH cross when we had 2 Catchers, an everyday 1B and a bunch of DH options and a few more that can play 1B when Lind was off.   Napoli was traded for to be traded away.  Also, hindsight is 20/20 Pete, you wouldn’t call AA dumb if Napoli had a bad year.

snowles
3 years 7 months ago

Agreed.

Mike Napoli was 211/342/500 on June 9 and being benched for Moreland and Torrealba. No naysayers then; both he and FF were doing a whole lot of nothing.If someone told me that same person was gonna hit almost .400 from July to November, and go .383/466/708 post-ASB, you’d have to be crazy.It’s all hindsight. Pure and simple.

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

benched for an 842 OPS as a catcher and you act like it makes sense

then you’re surprised that when his average came back to normal that OPS shot up with it. genius

there were naysayers the minute the trade was made because everyone knew napoli would mash in a hitter’s park

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

“there were naysayers the minute the trade was made because everyone knew napoli would mash in a hitter’s park”

With playing time, which he wouldn’t have had.

3 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand why that makes it defensible.  It’s ok to trade a player you weren’t going to use even though it turns out he was really good?  Is there no fault for not realizing what his potential was and trading him away for a poor return (even if it was at a position of need)?

Howard
3 years 7 months ago

 We didn’t even necessarily need FF because we had a big bullpen already last year coming into the season esp. since they signed Rauch first. Should of kept Napoli and EE to do DH and 1B duty. Plus we had Rivera at the same time playing first DH and the outfield til we traded him… I would of given Napoli a chance but that’s just me as a Jays fan. Either way whats done is done and I still don’t feel too bad about losing any of them now because AA got another compensation pick from Rauch and FF signing in NY.

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

which is pure stupidity if true, since there were 3 positions for him to rotate through

and i don’t believe that any of you think that was a real problem anyway. after all, the rangers had the exact same situation when they acquired him, with moreland (and davis), torrealba, and young in napoli’s way. they also coveted relievers. yet they still knew enough to make the swap and find him at-bats

pick any rationalization you want. they’re all foolish

garylanglais
3 years 7 months ago

Also, you have to remember that Napoli trade was primarily done to open up money for the Jose Bautista extension.  So I ask you, would you rather have had Napoli or Bautista under contract for 5 years???

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

i thought the jays had all the money in the world? funny how the facts change to fit the rationalization of the moment

Coollet
3 years 7 months ago

Holy negative nancy batman, dont try and prove all “crazy” Jays fans wrong, they’re too many! You’ll never win! They have all been hypnotized and empregnated by AA! The King of All Gods! Muhahahahahahahahahahah!!

chico65
3 years 7 months ago

I was waiting to see how many comments it took before someone started with the “AA is a genius” praise.  I’m surprised it took as long as it did.  Most of the Jays fans are slacking today, huh?

renegadeisback
3 years 7 months ago

In what universe is Molina Toronto’s #1 pitching prospect? Keith Law just said he was their MAYBE SIXTH BEST.

Joel
3 years 7 months ago

You must be a Red Sox fan

sharenski
3 years 7 months ago

AA, I’m sort of confused. Does this mean we are going for it??

Yankees420
3 years 7 months ago

Santos is under control for 6 more seasons with club options for ’15, ’16, and ’17.

sharenski
3 years 7 months ago

Ok.. so are you trying to say it is a good short term and long term move? Use your words!

blacksheep1982
3 years 7 months ago

Based on this deal alone? No, it doesn’t, as the other reply to you indicated he is signed possibly through 2017, that is a long term deal if I ever saw one meaning our competitive window could be 3 years out still. If you see AA sign Fielder, then consider that we are “going for it” now and for the foreseeable future.

sharenski
3 years 7 months ago

Much better

3 years 7 months ago

WOW, so much for “Molina is 1000% untouchable”.

Hey MLBTR readers, NO ONE IS UNTOUCHABLE.

iains
3 years 7 months ago

Polish them apples!

3 years 7 months ago

they just extended him. Did Robin not like him?

the_show
3 years 7 months ago

Hopefully this is one of Kenny’s good low key moves

Sniderlover
3 years 7 months ago

Uhhh… what? Santos is pretty good but sucks that we gave up Molina. Unless the club thinks he is definitely a future reliever, this could be a solid trade for the White Sox. 

At the moment, it’s a good trade for the Jays.

3 years 7 months ago

Agree and agree. Good for Jays now, I’d like to see him close. There’s been some talk lately that Molina would be pruned to close, but I don’t see him as a huge upgrade over Sale (if Sale figures it out at the MLB level). 

jwsox
3 years 7 months ago

if sale figures it out at the MLB level????? has you seen his stats he is already a great reliever and will be moved into the rotation this coming season

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

it will be great if molina is able someday to turn out to be…sergio santos. i think the jays just hit the fast forward button here, and he comes with a 6-year contract (with three club options along the way)

if molina can hack it as a starter, though, the white sox win

johnsmith4
3 years 7 months ago

Molina would have eventually been “pushed” into Jays bullpen if he made the starting rotation.

jwsox
3 years 7 months ago

its a solid trade for both teams…fills the closer need for the jay, he was awesome last year has a ton of potential and is cheap…it fills the pitching depth need for the sox..

Ryan
3 years 7 months ago

Who won this? I thought Molina was one of our big guys

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

 I don’t think it’s a “who won” issue. Trades are about each side acquiring what they want. Ideally, both sides should “win”. Otherwise no one would want to deal with the guy who is always taking advantage.

baseballz
3 years 7 months ago

Well Molina has six years of control and was arguably the best Jays pitcher in the system. If Nestor goes on to be a starter, and he could be a good one, then the Jays lose the deal in terms of value. If he ends up reliever in the end, and he could be a great one, then its more of an equivalency trade since both pitchers are shutdown relivers and the Jays want the more experienced one now to compete.

Sad to see Nestor go, he has a great splitter and fastball with ridiculous command, White Sox fans should be pleased with this. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

“Well Molina has six years of control”

just like santos

3 years 7 months ago

Love/Hate acquisition. AA wants to compete this season. 

brendonkuhn
3 years 7 months ago

noooo, this breaks my heart….Molina will be a stud

3 years 7 months ago

Wow. Talk about a deal out of nowhere. Molina is a quality prospect, but you got to give to get.

cyberboo
3 years 7 months ago

For AA to trade Molina, after a great year, when his value was at its peak, it is a great move.  Toronto gets a cost controlled closer that can also grow with the team.  Bailey would have cost at least 3 top prospects, including Molina probably, so losing one to gain a closer that is just as dominating as Bailey is a great move by the Jays.  Santos is locked down for six years, where Bailey isn’t and he could demand twice as much as Santos earns.   It is now another area stroked off the shopping list, where AA has traded a fringe pitcher in Mills for their back up catcher and one elite prospect for a closer that has huge potential to get even better.  Chicago wins, Toronto wins this deal, because both teams acquired what they needed. 

NexttoIgnore
3 years 7 months ago

A bird in hand is better than 2 in the bush (league).

jedicouncil
3 years 7 months ago

exactly,AA sid he would dip into the prospect pot to fill needs and that he did.  good thing is that the pot is deep and full.

3 years 7 months ago

Santos was the only halfway decent reliever for the Sox in 2011.
Why did they do this?

the_show
3 years 7 months ago

This is a stupid comment we have a very solid pen

3 years 7 months ago

wait for the rest of the firesale.

3 years 7 months ago

are you serious?

shysox
3 years 7 months ago

Thornton – 2.62 FIP
Chris Sale – 3.12 FIP 
Crain – 3.70 FIP 
Ohman – 4.10 FIP 

That’s an above average pen. 

3 years 7 months ago

Left-handed batter-heavy AL East?

3 years 7 months ago

Molina has to be a good pitcher, pitching to his brothers growing up.

3 years 7 months ago

 He’s not that kind of Molina

blurnandez
3 years 7 months ago

I believe that your joke-o-meter is broken.

ukJaysfan
3 years 7 months ago

Ok, now can we stop going on about a closer?

3 years 7 months ago

WE NEED MOAR CLOSERS

Coollet
3 years 7 months ago

He was aquired for closing? I thought we were simply purging ourselves of all the Molinas in our system.

3 years 7 months ago

At first I was highly confused, but a recent report had Nestor as the Jays second best prospect so I guess this could be a pretty good trade for both sides.

And if the White Sox end up trading Thornton and moving Sale to the rotation, who the hell is left in their pen?

FriedCalamari
3 years 7 months ago

Jason “X-factor” Frasor

3 years 7 months ago

He’s definitely not their second best prospect. However, people were pretty high on him.

sports33
3 years 7 months ago

I think Sickels had him at 2 thanks to the out pitch splitter and his readiness to contribute.

3 years 7 months ago

apparently there is some guy ranking him their second. I thought he would have still been behind Hutchinson, McGuire and possibly Gose,  Marisnick, and Hech.  

Antonio Nicarelli
3 years 7 months ago

Brian Bruney (sigh).

johnsmith4
3 years 7 months ago

Molina rates well…but..I doubt he rates ahead of D’Arnaud, Gose, Hutchison, McGuire, Marisnick, Nicolino, Syndergaard & Sanchez 

3 years 7 months ago

I know jack about him, just repeated what the first item from Google told me.  Think the guy who did the rankings is more of a results guy than tools and projection guy (not that he ignores them).  He had Gose at like 6 or 8 and a popular Braves prospect a lot lower than other sources because they haven’t put their tools together yet (namely power).

johnsmith4
3 years 7 months ago

Fair enough…at the very least…it tells you some people think he is that high…probably includes Ken Williams given he “targeted” Molina instead of shopping Santos around baseball.

jedicouncil
3 years 7 months ago

i agree good sir

3 years 7 months ago

Addison Reed thrown into the closer role?

3 years 7 months ago

Guessing Thornton, or maybe even Peavy. They still have Crain and Frasor too. Could be any of them.

Billy McCreight
3 years 7 months ago

Chris Sale maybe. If he’s not rotation bound

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

gotta at least let sale try to start. the sox are rebuilding, so there’s little to lose

3 years 7 months ago

Say what? This one I dont know about…

ukJaysfan
3 years 7 months ago

You need to give to get, I’m hoping that its a win/win for both teams.

Mikey Roederer
3 years 7 months ago

A quality prospect for a pretty solid closer?? Even if Molina was a stud in A and AA ball this year he is at least two years away..Plugging Santos in as the closer in TOR will def shore up the bullpen tho…I gotta give it to AA for now, see how Molina pans out I guess..

3 years 7 months ago

Molina was placed on the 40man recently, I think he would have been up by June/July.

Jaysfan724
3 years 7 months ago

The move to the 40 man roster was to protect him from the Rule 5 draft I believe.  Molina has not even played in AAA, it is highly unlikely he plays in 2012, but this is a good trade for both teams. Win-Win.

lug
3 years 7 months ago

I remember when Chris Sale pitched in AAA that was a nice weekend.

3 years 7 months ago

He was placed on the 40man because he’d be exposed to the rule-5 draft otherwise.  Having said that, he’s probably not 2 years away.