Free Agent Notes: Byrdak, Johan, Blue Jays, Martis

As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported today (Twitter links), some of the four remaining draft-compensation free agents may prefer to wait until after the draft to sign than agree to a sub-market deal. Dierkes notes that the high-risk strategy would threaten their former clubs with not receiving a compensation pick, which could increase the impetus for re-signings. It took until March 25th for the last compensation-bound player (Kyle Lohse) to reach agreement in 2013.

Of course, while carrying compensation is a hindrance, players only come to know its burdens after turning down a sizeable, one-year qualifying offer from their former club (this year, for $14.1MM). For many other free agents, an offer of any kind is all they are really looking for. Established big leaguer Tim Byrdak, now 40, is among them. He posted an image of a handwritten flyer on his Twitter account earlier today, advertising himself to GMs as a "high mileage but very serviceable," "late model LHR" that "comes with warranty" (via's Adam Rubin).

Here are some more notes on an increasingly sparse market:

  • Though a return of Johan Santana to the Twins was beginning to look like a foregone conclusion, writes LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune, several other clubs have recently expressed interest in the 34-year-old. Minnesota is certainly still in the hunt, with assistant GM Rob Antony telling Neal that he was waiting to hear back from Santana's agent in their latest round of talks. Noting that the Orioles have also seen the two-time Cy Young recipient throw of late, Neal says that Santana could be planning a showcase of sorts to allow more clubs to see his progress as he recovers from a second significant shoulder procedure.
  • Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said today that the club made strong runs at Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez before they signed elsewhere, Shi Davidi of reports"There were a couple of [trades] in the works that ended up falling through," said Gibbons, "and then with the free agents, there's a little bit of a bidding war out there, it's not automatic that you're going to get those guys." Gibbons declined to comment on current free agent starter Ervin Santana, other than to say that the club likes his arm.
  • Do not expect Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos to go beyond the team's internal valuation to sign Santana, writes Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Griffin argues that the Orioles' signing of Jimenez to a Garza-like contract — while giving up a first-round pick to do so — has undermined the Jays' apparent plan to wait out the market for compensation-bound starters and leverage the club's protected first-round choices. 
  • Former Nationals and Twins righty Shairon Martis is weighing two minor league offers along with the possibility of playing abroad, tweets Chris Cotillo of Though he made his debut in 2008, the native of Curacao is still just 26 years of age.

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15 Comments on "Free Agent Notes: Byrdak, Johan, Blue Jays, Martis"

Wee McGee
1 year 6 months ago

Maybe Big Byrd can go to Tampa to be reunited with Oscar, who has to live in that dump of a stadium.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 6 months ago

I dont think the Jays are gonna end up getting Santana , and honestly I don’t know that they necessarily should even though their pitching is lacking.

I do think that if they struggle again this year that AA is outta there.

Jason J. Shaw
1 year 6 months ago

If their arms perform to their capabilities and without much time on the DL, we’ve got a good starting rotation. If we can have one of the younger guys step it up Juan Guzman style, we might even have a staff to contend with! I want to see Drabek step up and bring it this year!

1 year 6 months ago

^This guy hit it on the nail. In my opinion, the jays just need better coaching staff who take full precautions to avoid injuries. The rotation itself is solid.

You’ve got a Cy-Young winner in Dickey, upcoming ace in Morrow, Workhorse in Buerle. Then Rogers, Happ, Huch and Drebek can fight for the last 2 spots.

Tom W
1 year 6 months ago

Let’s not forget that “upcoming ace” Morrow is now 30. Here is hoping for a healthy season.

1 year 6 months ago

Drabek still has a ton of potential, but I’m more interested in seeing how Hutchison comes back from his injury. He looked legit in his short stint in 2012, and has the command that Drabek doesn’t, while still having good stuff. Stroman is pretty exciting at this point too, I really believe he’s a legitimate rotation candidate already. There’s definitely more rotation depth than last year, making it more likely the Jays can effectively plug any holes created by injury/poor performance, so the rotation stands to be better on the whole, with or without Santana.

1 year 6 months ago

Drabek basically has this year and next to show he’s not a bust. I hope the best for him but I’d say Hutch has jumped him on the depth chart with his final performances before the injury.

1 year 6 months ago

I wanna see stroman start as the #5 starter.

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

There were also rumors about the rangers interested in johan in the past but they sign hanson

1 year 6 months ago

If you are not following Byrdak on the Twitter you are missing out on some funny stuff.

1 year 6 months ago

I understand a reunion with the twins, but no one else should take a shot on Santana. The guy really shouldnt even pitch till the all star break

1 year 6 months ago

The draft pick compensation just seems a convenient excuse to me for teams to drive down salaries for non-elite FA in a concerted fashion. If the players hold off until June and still don’t get reasonable offers, look for a grievance to be filed. However, with Horowitz not being fired by the MLBPA and having a clear bias toward MLB, who has a history of sacking arbitrators who don’t rule their way, I don’t expect it will amount to much

1 year 6 months ago

I just don’t understand how this isn’t a classic Yankees’ deal. He’s low risk-high reward, they could use the depth, he’s a veteran who can handle NY and they’re clearly not going to spend on any more FA out there. If you can sign Damaso Marte for two years, you can sign Santana to a minimal contract.

1 year 6 months ago

LaVelle just goes further and further down my list as far as good Twins reporters go. This information was reported weeks ago by someone else, but he comes up with an “update” with the same information.

Multiple teams have already offered Santana MiLB deals, the Twins aren’t one of them. There are at least 5-10 teams interested in Santana. All of this is very old news. And the “all but wrapped up” on a deal with the Twins, I’m pretty sure he’s the only one who was reporting that to begin with. I’m glad I have other reporters to read now like Miller, Wolfson (not Twins only) and Berardino before it was LaVelle or Christensen. Christensen was better than him too.

As far as Santana himself goes, it would be nice for him to return “home,” but I also am not sure I want to see a shell of the Santana that I once watched regularly. Two shoulder surgeries is a big deal. He won’t be anywhere near the same ever again. Whatever he ends up doing, he should retire as a Twin when he’s finished.

connfyoozed .
1 year 6 months ago

It seems like Shairon Martis has been around for 15 years. Judging by his HR/9 rates in the majors, some of his former managers may feel the same way.