Ervin Santana’s Asking Price Not Dropping

Ervin Santana isn't lowering his asking price as Opening Day inches closer, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Executives from teams with interest in the right-hander tell Heyman that despite the onset of Spring Training, Santana is still seeking something in the range of $50MM over four years — the same contract signed by Ubaldo Jimenez with the Orioles and Matt Garza with the Brewers, and $1MM more than Ricky Nolasco got from the Twins.

Heyman adds that Santana has been seeking four years "for a while now," and that won't change no based on the calendar or fellow draft-pick free agent Nelson Cruz settling for a surprising one-year, $8MM deal. According to Heyman, the Orioles, Mariners, Rangers and Rockies are looking at Santana right now, and the Blue Jays are believed by some to still be a possibility.

Colorado's interest in Santana could be tied to the fate of right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who underwent an MRI due to shoulder pain. Fresh off a 3.47 ERA in 197 1/3 innings for the Rockies last season, the 26-year-old entered Spring Training as a lock for the club's rotation. However, the team announced today (on Twitter) that Chacin has a strained right shoulder with inflammation and will not be able to throw for at least a week.

It's logical to assume that a serious setback for Chacin would heighten Colorado's interest, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that even with the somewhat negative news from today's MRI, the team isn't interested in Santana at four years and $50MM. Renck has written previously that the club is turned off by Santana's history of fly balls and homer problems, though it's worth noting that Santana's fly-ball rate has drastically declined over the past three seasons as his ground-ball rate has risen.

Heyman closes by saying that Santana is said to be willing to wait for the right deal to present itself and could consider waiting until after the June Draft to sign, which would rid him of the draft pick compensation attached to his name. Earlier today, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes looked at which pick each of the 30 teams would have to surrender to sign Santana (or Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales). While not all of those teams are logical fits at this time, it takes just one major injury for a new suitor to emerge.

84 Responses to Ervin Santana’s Asking Price Not Dropping Leave a Reply

  1. mstrchef13 1 year ago

    FYI, local reporters with contacts inside the Orioles front office say that every single source indicates the O’s have no interest in Santana, and that any reported interest is being invented by his representation.

  2. Tom 1 year ago

    Strange that teams aren’t lining up to give the guy who gave up 39 HRs in 2012 a big deal.

    Should have accepted the QO.

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      Just a bad year. Every pitcher has them. The rest of his career his HR rate is league average.

      • Tom 1 year ago

        Not saying I wouldn’t want him in my team’s rotation, I’m just saying he doesn’t deserve the huge payday he’s expecting.

    • Matt 1 year ago

      By that logic Ulbaldo Jiminez shouldn’t have gotten the deal he got if you base it off of 2012 numbers…

      • Jesus Ortiz 1 year ago

        Ulbaldo had multiple bad seasons. Even last year he was only good for HALF the season.

        • Matt 1 year ago

          Ummmmmmm That is kind of the point…………..He got the contract he did, but based on what the OP said about Santana, Ulbaldo shouldn’t have been able to get his deal…..

          Also, he was not good for half of the season last year. No idea where that is coming from. He had a horrible April and an okay, but not amazing May. He was very good/great for pretty much the rest of the season.

  3. Seamaholic 1 year ago

    Someone out of the clear blue sky is gonna grab this guy, and profit. He’s a perfectly solid major league SP who is healthy and still in his prime. Everyone’s talked themselves out of him, but some smart team is gonna go the other way.

  4. Chad Woelk 1 year ago

    Santana should fire his agent Jay Alou who was seeking 100 million in the beginning of free agency. This made all the teams move on including the Royals who prob would have went 4 years then but moved on when the asking price was so high and signed Vargas instead. Now stubbornness and greed still remain and Santana will have to sit and watch the game he supposedly loves so much.

    • amoreperfectunion 1 year ago

      Do the Royals have enough cash left to re-sign him? If he isn’t signed by Opening Day, he might be more willing to bite at a 3 year, 33m deal.

      • Chad Woelk 1 year ago

        Sadly they do not unless ownership (Mr. Glass) decided to open up that wallet to make the final push. I don’t even think they would do a one or two year deal on the cheap end. Once his agent was demanding over 100 million they moved on for good in my opinion. But one can keep hoping right!!!!

      • ThisGuyRocks 1 year ago

        Moore has stated several times that with payroll around $93-$94 million right now, there isn’t room for anything else. Good thing we re-signed Bruce Chen and gave Jason Vargas all that money.

        • Matt 1 year ago

          If santana’s price hadn’t have been so high at the start of the off-season, KC would probably have re-signed him. A Rotation of Shields, Santana, Guthrie, Ventura, and Duffy would have been good. Instead it will be Shields, Guthrie, Vargas, Chen, and probably Ventura. And I don’t even want to think about next season when the Royals probably won’t be able to afford Shields too.

  5. Santana doesn’t exactly have a ton of leverage right now. His best shot at a 50 million dollar contract is if a contending team loses a pitcher to Tommy John or another year long injury.

    He could also wait until after Opening Day to avoid the QO for next year, but he apparently doesn’t want a Nelson Cruz type pillow contract.

    • brian310 1 year ago

      After draft*

      • Not for next year’s QO if he takes a one year deal. The draft concerns the compensation already attached to him, but if he signs after opening day on a one year deal, that team cannot offer him another QO.

        • jimfetterolf 1 year ago

          Which lowers his value even more, on top of needing a month or two to get ready to join a rotation and forcing a team to make roster moves after the season starts.

          • I agree, though if he’s working out and signs the day after Opening Day, he wouldn’t need much time to get ready. If that’s the route he’s going to take he might as well sign a pillow contract right now. He could find a stagnant market between April and June considering a pick would be involved.

          • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

            The only issue is no one is going to give up a draft pick for 5 months of a pitcher. Such a deal would require a small market team trying to win it this year and probably a 4-6 million deal

          • I don’t think it requires a small market team, but it would most likely be a team that only had to give up a second round pick or below.

            Plenty of teams would be willing to give up a second or third round pick for 5 months of Santana at a low salary. Teams do that kind of stuff all the time at the All Star break and this could be far more appealing.

  6. J-man 1 year ago

    That’s not how economics work, Mr. Santana. If you want to get on a team, you’re going to have to lower your asking price since you are a product not in demand. If you aren’t going to lower you price, then have fun sitting out the season.

    • East Coast Bias 1 year ago

      No way he sits out the season. Worst case scenario is that he gets a deal done after the June draft to avoid pick compensation.

  7. monroe_says 1 year ago

    If the past is any indication, he’ll give you two good years for every bad one. That makes him worth about 6 WAR over 3 seasons. Seems like 3/36 would be much more reasonable.

  8. Mil8Ball 1 year ago

    If I was Santana I’d stick to it and sit out till June if I have to. Someone will give him 3.5/45mil come July. Someone will be desperate and will pay the price.

    • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

      The problem with sitting out until July is that any team that would sign him would have to send him to their spring training facilities to get game ready… then he would need 3-4 starts against live batting in the minor leagues before he is Major League ready. We are talking a minimum of 4 weeks (probably longer) before he can help the big league club. That means any team in real contention wouldn’t have him on the ML roster until August.

      • Mil8Ball 1 year ago

        I’m pretty sure…actually I’m positive it would take him a month max to get ready. Probably ready before the All Star break depending when exactly the draft is. Ervin Santana is a big boy and can stretch out himself. A little game action and he is ready.

  9. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Santana’s problem is not only that he has draft pick compensation attached, he is not good enough to justify a 4/50 commitment. For comparisons sake Ubaldo Jimenez has produced 23.6 fWAR in 8 seasons/1275.2 IP, Garza 18.1 in 8 seasons/1182.2 IP, Santana 19.6 in 9 season/1686.2 IP. That equates out to 25% less WAR/IP than Garza and 37% less WAR/IP than Jimenez.

    Bottom line: Santana is a worse starter than Jimenez and Garza

    • RyanWKrol 1 year ago

      Over the past 3 years, Ubaldo has only a 90 ERA+ while Santana has a 101 ERA+. I don’t think either justify the contracts they’re getting/asking for. Santana has 5 good seasons out of 9 and Ubaldo 4 out of 8. Ubaldo has a better H/9 and HR/9 but Santana has a much better BB/9. The latter is crucial. Santana also as a better WHIP, probably because his BB/9 is about half Jiminez’ walk rate. In fact, Santana’s WHIP has been under 1.30 over the last 3 years. Even in 2012 his WHIP was only 1.27, well above league average. That season the HR ball off set what would’ve otherwise given him 4 straight good seasons in a row through last season. His peripherals didn’t speak to his ERA very much that season. Ubaldo’s WHIP the last 3 years is at 1.44. League average is 1.32. btw. Santana can also give 200+ IP guaranteed if he’s having at least an average season or better. Ubaldo hasn’t thrown 200 IP since 2010. Comparing their career numbers, it’s a toss up in a ot of categories. But I’d take Santana’s proven durability over Ubaldo.

      • discollama 1 year ago

        ERA is a terrible predictor of future performance, so his 101 ERA+is meaningless

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Using the sample of “the last three years” also happen to include 2 Santana’s better years and Jimenez 2 worst years. 2012 was Santana’s worst year but he has been inconsistent for his whole career. Jimenez had 2 bad years in Cleveland but prior to that was an ace, his recent mechanics change seems to have helped.

        I’d take Jimenez over Santana in 2014 and beyond.

  10. Ron Loreski 1 year ago

    I think the Phillies are the perfect team for Santana. If they realistically wanna compete in that division, they need another SP. Especially if Hamels health is a question mark.


    Unless of course Santana is too young for the Phillies.

  11. AcaciaStrain 1 year ago

    Maybe Santana bought a really big boat or house this offseason and he’s saying “no guys you don’t understand… I literally can’t afford for my price to go down”

  12. start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

    I’m wondering if part of this is him holding out for something like 1 year for $13M to $15M.

    • deadgeorge 1 year ago

      You mean like the qualifying offer he rejected?

      • start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

        Higher money but overall yes. Right now anyone giving him 3-4 years will probably not want to go over $10M because they probably figure no one else will. But a high one year offer gives Santana a chance to save face and retry for next year.

    • ThisGuyRocks 1 year ago

      His QO was something like $14.1 million and he rejected it….obviously just in case that 1 year $13 million offer came his way,

  13. RyanWKrol 1 year ago

    Just take a 1 year contract so you can prove that 2012 was just a fluky bad season, and then go for the multi-year deal next offseason.

    • Ron Loreski 1 year ago

      Unless of course 2012 wasn’t a fluky bad season, and he knows that. He’ll be lucky to get $5mil/yr if it backfires.

      • RyanWKrol 1 year ago

        The only thing that will tell us that is his HR/9. Other than that, his peripherals in ’12 were roughly the same as his good seasons. His WHIP was only 1.27. 2013 his HR/9 fell back to his normal level and he came out with 211 IP and a 1.14 WHIP, as well as a 3.24 ERA to show for it. That’s what teams are getting from Santana if he’s not giving up a lot of HR’s.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      2012 was Santana’s worst year but really he has to prove 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2007 were all flukes. Santana is the definition of inconsistent oscillating between a solid #2-#3 starter and a horrendous #5 starter.

    • discollama 1 year ago

      Considering the number of bad years that he’s had (4) and that three of those years were driven mostly by HR/9 rates of 1.50+ and since 2009 he’s had a HR/9 of 1.30, there’s a very real chance that he does it again. 2012 wasn’t fluky, it was a trend, something obviously starts to go wrong, probably his mechanics, and then he gives up a ton of HR’s and has a terrible year.

  14. John Kreese 1 year ago

    It looks like he’ll be the Kyle Lohse of 2014. Lohse didn’t sign last season until the end of March. I’m sure some team will re-asses their pitching staffs & he’ll get close to what all the other comparable guys got.

    • Nathan Justice 1 year ago

      exactly or an injury or something will force a team’s hand

  15. Jose Batista 1 year ago

    He is not worth 100 million just isn’t

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      No one ever thought he was.

      • Ryan 1 year ago

        Santana’s agent thought he was worth 100 million at the beginning of the off-season. The only problem he had was no team bought into that line of thinking

  16. Jose Batista 1 year ago

    He’s more worth 3 with option for fourth 44 million.

  17. Robert Mango 1 year ago

    the way his market’s shaping up i bet he’ll resign with the Royals for 1 more year.

  18. Red_Line_9 1 year ago

    Discussion coming from Rockies publicly about Santana could be posturing to place pressure on a trade they might have on the table.

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago


      • Red_Line_9 1 year ago

        It’s possible that the Rockies supposed public interest in Santana is being put out there by the team as leverage in a deal they are working out with another team. Just speculation, but the Cubs might be playing hard ball in negotiations for Samardzjia.

        • Seamaholic 1 year ago

          Oh. I’m sure the Rockies aren’t going to pay the Cubs’ price for Samardzija unless they are assured they can re-sign him (which would seem almost impossible), but I can see your point theoretically.

  19. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    His stats are way better than 100 million man Homer Bailey!

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      Except age , upside , and continuously improving each year for the last 5 years.

      • ThisGuyRocks 1 year ago

        Other than the stuff that matters, his stats are way better than Bailey.

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      Except age , upside , and continuously improving each year for the last 5 years.

  20. MB923 1 year ago

    Guess he’ll be unemployed (but he should find a way to make $7k a month working from home. Just go to (website) here)

  21. Enjoy playing in Korea, Ervin.

  22. orangeoctober 1 year ago

    according to roch kubatko, four different sources “in the know” have told him the o’s are no longer really interested in signing santana

  23. BG921 1 year ago

    Given his age, inconsistent track record, and HR rates, it’s no surprise that Santana hasn’t received the crazy contract he’s after. It’s funny that the reason he probably didn’t accept the qualifying offer was because he wanted to cash in on his great season, but if he signs a one year deal and has a season more inclined to his regular stats, he’ll be looking at small deals next off-season. Seems like the thing he wanted to avoid may be his only option soon.

    • slashieboy . 1 year ago

      Still his stats is in the AL, put him in the NL and he’ll be a true ace.

      • discollama 1 year ago

        I doubt that, unless he goes to a very pitcher friendly stadium in the NL, and even then his upside is maybe that of a #2 given his low K/9. He pitched in two of the most forgiving parks in the AL his entire career, and during most of his time on the Angels, the AL West wasn’t as tough as it is now (despite the addition of the Astros) and he was on one of the better teams. Going to the AL Central, he faced decent but not amazing offenses (really there were only two teams that were good offensively) and he had the added benefit of having solid defenses behind him with both the Angels and the Royals.

        If he went someplace like Chicago, Colorado, Arizona, or Philly, he’d probably have a worse time than he did in the AL.

        • slashieboy . 1 year ago

          Who has a worse time in the AL compared to the NL? One guy every 40 years?

          • discollama 1 year ago

            I believe the term used by you was ‘true ace’, something which is never going to happen. Even at his very best he was only ever a #2 or #3, and the places I listed are hitter friendly parks, and at least two of the teams listed are rumored to have interest or are fits.

            Moving to a more neutral or pitcher friendly park would be smart of him, but there are places in the NL that would make him look more like his 2012 self.

          • slashieboy . 1 year ago

            As far as I can tell the avarege pitcher moving AL to NL sees his ERA drop 0.6 so that would make Santana come in at 2.64 pretty damn great! I know thats not science but it happens all the time. Even more so with guys being washed up and cut loose in the AL but still.

          • discollama 1 year ago

            But yet Coors Field and Wriggly sit a top the leader boards for runs scored park factor with Citizens Bank park sitting at #6. Not to mention that Citizens Bank and Coors are ranked #1 and #8 respectively in HR’s and we’re talking about a pitcher with a HR problem even when he’s posting decent numbers.

            If he does sign with Philly or Colorado he’d have some serious trouble and I’d expect his ERA to be no lower than his career numbers. The problem is that you’re looking at last year’s ERA and expecting more of the same, and that’s just not how it works. If he signs with either of those teams his ERA will at least be in the low 4’s, and that’s probably around what you should expect to see him do in a neutral AL park. There’s just no reason to expect him to replicate his nearly 77% LOB figure.

  24. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    He should sign a one year deal in the National League. That will help him get a good deal next year.

  25. AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

    If I’m Santana at this point I wait until after the draft, sign a prorated contract for the rest of the season plus 2-3 seasons at a slightly reduced rate plus tons of incentives:

    2014: $4MM for the rest of the season post-draft
    2015: $14MM
    2016: $16MM
    2017: $15MM mutual option w/$2MM club buyout

    Potentially saves the club money while guaranteeing Santana is fairly compensated relative to his market value based on comparable FA and their eventual contracts.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      That would really be the same as getting a 3/36 contract, I think he could get that today. Santana wants more which is why he remains unsigned.

      • AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

        I disagree. He avoids the draft compensation issue by signing mid-season and pitching for cheap that year while getting what would be market value the next two seasons and then if he’s pitching well he’s lined up for a 3 year/$45MM deal but if he looks human he can have one more year w/ that salary.

  26. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Santana can throw a 2 seam FB (not very often but he can) and benefited from a career high GB% last year, time to sign a 1 year deal with Pittsburg and use their IF defense and inability to offer QO’s to get a solid multiyear deal next year.

  27. cyberboo 1 year ago

    One question: to be taken into context, what are Santana’s peripherals within each division. We know that he is destroyed in the AL east parks, where they are built for home runs, he succeeds in the AL central, due to the pitcher’s parks, and was average in the AL west parks. How did he fare in the national league parks? The teams that should even look at him would be the divisions where he showed success, instead of putting him in a situation to fail or have a bad season, since he has been prone to home runs that destroy his season. That isn’t the sign of a 4 – 50 Million dollar pitcher. If he was looking at a 4 year – 36 million, where the fourth year is an option, teams would be more inclined to sign him as a risky move that could pay dividends. Again, he isn’t worth the money in a division that knocks him out of the games, since those are the games that count the most.

  28. pft2 1 year ago

    On what planet is Santana not worth 4/50 even with a draft pick . I agree something like 5/75 would be too high, but not 4.50. He is better than Jiminez IMO. Something funny going on this offseason.

  29. Nathan Justice 1 year ago

    I think he’s gonna have to take a 1 year deal and establish another good year before he’ll get a longer deal.

    • slashieboy . 1 year ago

      Yeah but if he takes this 1 year deal in the AL East he might not even get a deal next year. If he signs in the NL he will get the long deal he is looking for at big dollars.

  30. Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

    If the Cubs do trade Shark before the start of the season, they should sign this guy to replace him in the rotation.

  31. Drew 1 year ago

    You’re already rich, pick a team you want to play for, quite being greedy – go play ball.

  32. Curt 1 year ago

    If Santana doesn’t drop his price he won’t be pitching this year .

  33. lee cousins 1 year ago

    The M.s could sure use another bat in the lineup, Morales would not sign for a qualifying offer of 14 zillion dollars, I guess I don’t get it that’s a fat wallet by any buddies standards, this is of course is not about money anymore how about inflated ego’s, can you imagine what the average living wage in Venezuela is? not enough money you say? give me a break.

  34. jarek redman 1 year ago

    This is actually very accurate. As a former TV reporter, we typically only release what information teams give us. You can’t go burning bridges with team officials by spreading rumors or jumping the gun. Unless a contract agreement is imminent, information won’t be released.

  35. discollama 1 year ago

    I don’t recall saying that ERA+ (or – for that matter) was a bad evaluator. In fact it is great for trying to evaluate the performance of a pitcher in comparison to the rest of the league. However, it IS a bad predictor. ERA correlation from year to year isn’t nearly as high as FIP or xFIP. fWAR is based off of FIP, and since FIP removes balls put into play which requires the defense to handle the play, FIP based WAR is a slightly better indicator of future performance.

    As for xFIP, where they normalize HR rates, Santana has under performed it more often than not, but his career ERA is in line with his career xFIP. The issue is that he’s a fly ball pitcher who has a HR/9 problem which is why I don’t believe in it for him. Since 2009 pitchers with a minimum of 400 IP, Santana has the 9th worst HR/9 rate in the game clocking in at 1.30. Add in his underwhelming K/9, and the guy is too big of a risk for a 4/50 contract like he wants.

  36. pft2 1 year ago

    Drews asking for an opt out was only in response to being offered sub-market value deals, Pretty sure he takes 3/35 with no optout.

  37. Mil8Ball 1 year ago

    Sadly he didn’t even hit the board with that hammer…see Kyle Lohse.

    Lohse signed on March 25. He started a spring training game 3 days after getting to camp, then ended up starting the Brewers 4th game on April 5th…it took him a week to get ready and he went 6 and 7 innings his first two regular season games.

    Same exact situation. You people thinking it will take him months to get ready must assume he will eat Doritos on his couch till June….that is not the case. He will be ready come July 1st helping a team an extra month before any trade deadline pitcher will…and the 2008 Brewers can tell you how much that could mean.

    You guys are getting confused and comparing him to someone getting injured. He is perfectly healthy and won’t need to slowly get stretched out for a month. He can do that on his own plenty before June rolls around. You could start him the day after the draft concludes if you want.

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