Blue Jays, Orioles In Play For Ervin Santana

6:26pm: Santana continues to consider offers from the Orioles and the Jays, ESPN's Enrique Rojas tweets, noting that two other clubs had expressed interest this afternoon (Spanish link).

4:08pm: FOX Sports' Jon Morosi tweets that a source tells him that Santana could wait "days" before signing. 4:00 has come and gone, and there's no news about his decision.

12:08pm: Rojas writes (Spanish-language) that Santana is deciding between the Jays, who have offered $14MM, and the Orioles, who have offered $13MM plus incentives.

11:43am: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes tweets that Santana will sign with the Jays for $14MM by 4:00pm if he does not receive a better offer by then.

11:40am: The deal is not yet done, but Santana and the Jays are discussing one, the New York Post's Joel Sherman tweets.

11:18am: The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency.

Santana pitched 211 innings with the Royals in 2013, posting a 3.24 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. After the season, he rejected a $14.1MM qualifying offer, hoping to strike it big on the free agent market. Obviously, that didn't happen, as the issue of draft pick forfeiture supressed the market for Santana and several other players. The Blue Jays have two first-round picks, at No. 9 and No. 11, and both are protected. So they'll have to give up the No. 50 overall pick for signing Santana.

Santana's one-year deal gives him the opportunity to hit the free agent market again next offseason, when he will turn 32. If he performs well, however, he may still have to deal with the qualifying offer issue. Santana ranked sixth on MLBTR's list of the top 2013-14 free agents. Ubaldo Jimenez, who ranked 11th and also rejected a qualifying offer, received four years and $50MM from the Orioles, and Santana reportedly sought a similar contract. ESPN's Buster Olney recently tweeted that teams were concerned about the health of Santana's elbow.

Assuming Santana remains healthy, however, $14MM plus the No. 50 overall draft pick seems like a very reasonable price for the Blue Jays to pay a young-ish, solidly-above-average starting pitcher who topped 200 innings last year. Santana will provide a significant boost to a Jays rotation that was unsettled after R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow and Mark Buehrle


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191 Comments on "Blue Jays, Orioles In Play For Ervin Santana"


R_Stantz
1 year 5 months ago

ok AA, now sign Stephen Drew and let’s get this thing going.

James F
1 year 5 months ago

I’m hoping he signs with the Twins.

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t see that happening after the Scott Boras/Rogers Communications fiasco.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

Only way it happens is if Drew is willing to accept a 1 year contract and is willing to play second base.

However, Scott Boras was backtracking many of his comments to the Toronto media a couple weeks ago and stated repeatedly that Drew would sign with Toronto (to play 2b) if they offered a multi year contract.

So yeah, not happening until Drew/Boras drop price/pants.

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t see that happening after the Scott Boras/Rogers Communications fiasco.

rct
1 year 5 months ago

So with the different tax rates, this is actually much worse than the QO, right?

Raul
1 year 5 months ago

I was wondering the same thing. Isn’t the Canadian dollar higher than the US dollar though? Once taxes are figured though I’m not sure if he is making as much as he could.

Runtime
1 year 5 months ago

Nah. CAD has plummeted in the past few weeks.

sourbob
1 year 5 months ago

His salary is for $14MM US. So the exchange rate isn’t a factor.

R_Stantz
1 year 5 months ago

yep… and i believe the Jays lock in there US cash reserves at least a year in advance so the 2014 dip in the Loonie probably won’t affect them… 2015 and beyond is another story.

brian310
1 year 5 months ago

I think people are accounting for tax of living there too maybe

emume
1 year 5 months ago

what is the tax rate in KC?

rct
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not sure, but my (extremely) rough estimate is that he stands to lose about $1-1.5MM by signing with the Jays than if he’d signed with an American team or taken the QO.

Torontopoly
Torontopoly
1 year 5 months ago

Max income tax rate in Ontario is 29% (federal) + 13.1% (provincial) = 42.1%. FYI. Apparently very much in-line with a lot of other big market state income taxes, all factors considered.

Jordan Bisasky
1 year 5 months ago

From what I understand, Canada doesn’t have the obnoxious tax loopholes that you can get in the US.

sourbob
1 year 5 months ago

This is pretty sharp. All it costs them is a single year and a second round draft pick. They get a solid rotation piece on favorable terms and can give him a QO and get a first round pick next year.

R_Stantz
1 year 5 months ago

the only question is who is the better bet: Santana or Josh Johnson, who probably would’ve been cheaper and wouldn’t have cost a pick.

sourbob
1 year 5 months ago

That’s the thing though: this may not exactly cost them a pick either. They’ll lose a 2nd round this year, but will likely net a 1st round next year. So this may actually upgrade their pick situation rather than hurt it.

R_Stantz
1 year 5 months ago

good point. AA has been so good in the past with his draft pick accumulation with FA compensation that I would buy them employing that strategy with respect to JJ and signing a FA pitcher.

Sky14
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t know if it’s likely, considering what happened this off season, unless he pitches extremely well he would likely accept the QO.

Flharfh
1 year 5 months ago

Agree, and if he has a mediocre to bad season he won’t get offered the QO anyway. I think it’s pretty unlikely that the Jays end up gaining a draft pick from this.

rikersbeard
1 year 5 months ago

To answer the question, I think that Santana is the safer bet.

JamieFC
1 year 5 months ago

That’s not even a question. Santana averages 215 inning/162 games. Johnson will give you 150 at best. Dude’s made of glass.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

This is a moot point as Johnson was not resigning with the Jays without the QO, despite his lackluster performance.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

This is a moot point as Johnson was not resigning with the Jays without the QO, despite his lackluster performance.

Eric Ritz
1 year 5 months ago

Johnson said he wanted to play on the west coast, though.

Colin Christopher
1 year 5 months ago

Wow. Could have made $14.1 by just saying yes to the Royals and stayed in a spacious outfield with a great defense. I’m betting this season won’t be as kind to his value as last year was.

jaysfan4life
1 year 5 months ago

On a one year deal there’s no way it could go wrong, either he’s doesn’t pitch good and that’s it or he pitches good and we get either one more year from him on a QO or he declines it and we get a pick.

Jeff McCoy
1 year 5 months ago

I would assume that there will be language in the deal that will prevent the Jays from giving him a QO.

R_Stantz
1 year 5 months ago

isn’t that against the CBA?

Aaron Johnson
1 year 5 months ago

yes it is

GMwannabe
1 year 5 months ago

the new CBA prevents teams and players making agreements to no offer QO

Jeff McCoy
1 year 5 months ago

I wonder why the MLBPA agreed to that? Oh well, definitely a good move for the Jays then.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

Because it replaced the former compensation system, and the current compensation system is unquestionably better for more players.

Jordan_Vaughn1
1 year 5 months ago

and then there were two…..

rkmarx
1 year 5 months ago

As a Red Sox fan, I’m pretty happy with the remaining 2. I wish he could somehow go to both teams….maybe a mid-season trade to the team that doesn’t start with him?

1 year 5 months ago

I am unsurprised he did not come to Baltimore. Toronto needs him more.

Frittoman626
1 year 5 months ago

Santana in the AL East facing above average offenses in hitters parks could get very ugly.

Jared S
1 year 5 months ago

They were going to send out JA Happ as their #4. I personally would rather see Santana. Wouldn’t you?

Frittoman626
1 year 5 months ago

At $14 mil and the cost of a draft pick no, but then again that’s just me. There’s a reason why it took him all this time to sign.

Eric
1 year 5 months ago

I completely agree

Jared S
1 year 5 months ago

You can offer a QO and get that pick exchanged for a 1st round pick or you got him controlled again for just a 1 year contract.

Mark
1 year 5 months ago

It took all this time to sign him because originally he wanted 50M and no team was willing to give him that a this point in the offseason.

It’s mind boggling that people wouldn’t want to give up a second round pick for Santana. Here’s a list of every second rounder drafted by the Jays http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=franch_round&team_ID=TOR&draft_round=2&draft_type=junreg&.

Now that the Jays have signed Santana they need to sign Stephen Drew so that Ryan Goins doesn’t post a -WAR has the starting 2B.

Jaysfan724
1 year 5 months ago

I think Goins dWAR will be high enough to put him above replacement level overall. And the Jays offense would be good enough to make up for what Goins lacks. I don’t see Drew as a necessity at all.

Mark
1 year 5 months ago

The Jays offence is most definitely not good enough to make up for Goins lack of offence. The Jays ranked 8/15 in wRC+ and are much closer to the 7/8/9 group (Orioles 100, Toronto 99, Texas 97) than they are to the 6th placed Indians (107 wRC+).

If you want to argue that the Jays were injured, we can look at the first half of the year, where the Jays were once again a 99 wRC+ team.

Maybe Goins defence is good enough to offset his bat and make him a 0.3 or 0.4 WAR player. He’s certainly not a good player, and the Jays could and should upgrade over him.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

According to the 2014 Fangraphs projections, the Jays are projected to score the second most runs in the MLB. Tied with the Red Sox. Rangers lead the RS/G category.

Pretty sure the Jays offense is better than you think it is.

Jaysfan724
1 year 5 months ago

I think Goins dWAR will be high enough to put him above replacement level overall. And the Jays offense would be good enough to make up for what Goins lacks. I don’t see Drew as a necessity at all.

Dynasty22
1 year 5 months ago

Actually, he originally wanted 6/112 then when all of his fellow pitchers signed for 4/50 he changed his demands but it was too late.

Paul Miller
1 year 5 months ago

People say the same thing with Ubaldo. With his high walk rates, it can be devastating in the AL East with the patient approach NY, BOS and TB takes. Santana is way less risk compared to making a four year commitment.

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

Not shocking. Toronto needed him the most. Should be another exciting year in the AL (B)East, with all 5 teams theoretically in the hunt.

Jordan_Vaughn1
1 year 5 months ago

Ubaldo is laughing to the bank right now

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

Signed for 1 yr/$14M… called it!

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

On the plus side, this should seal the Yankees’ fate as a 5th place team.

Frittoman626
1 year 5 months ago

Lol, the Jays sign a guy who arguably would be the 5th starter on the Yankees and you say they will be better. Please, how exactly are the Jays and O’s better than the Yankees?

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

Well, the Orioles have a better offense, defense, and rotation, while the Jays have the best offense in the division and, now at least, a somewhat passable rotation.

The Yankees, OTOH, have a mediocre lineup, a mediocre rotation, and probably the worst infield defense in all of baseball.

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

I really dont get where TOR has a better offense when you go by the numbers, OR the eye test. Os beat the Jays by 33 runs last year and have vastly improved their holes at LF/DH

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

The numbers only tell part of the story- the Jays were ridiculously unlucky with injuries last year. If Reyes and Cabrera are healthy and productive in front of a healthy Bautista, Encarnacion, Rasmus, and Lind, they will dominate pretty much every offensive category. And if Lawrie takes a step forward(as should be expected)? Look out.

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

That’s a heck of a lot of optimism crammed into one comment.

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

That’s a heck of a lot of optimism crammed into one comment.

Jeff in Cleveland
1 year 5 months ago

Lawrie seems like a bust to me. Reyes is always hurt and so is Bautista. Orioles offense is better considering how injury prone the Jays are.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 5 months ago

Better rotation? Using stats please explain.

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

CC is going to be 34 this year. He lost velocity last year and dropped off sharply in pretty much every statistical category- ERA, WHIP, H/9, BB/9, SO/9, etc.- and is probably unlikely to bounce back too much(although I would expect slightly better results in 2014).
Kuroda is already 39 years old, and isn’t going to continue defying nature forever. I would expect some inevitable age-related drop off, though he’ll still probably be fairly solid.
Nova was very good last year, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 139.1 IP, but he’s been inconsistent thus far in his career(solid in 2011, awful to the tune of a 5.02 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 2012, good again last year). Maybe he’ll be solid, maybe he won’t.
And Pineda and Tanaka are complete question marks. Pineda hasn’t pitched at the MLB level since his rookie season in 2011, and Tanaka has never pitched at the MLB level. I would expect growing pains with both guys, and the next man up(I would think), David Phelps, wasn’t exactly great last year, posting a 4.98 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.
Additionally, I would expect some across-the-board negative gains thanks to their awful IF defense, which is much worse than what they ran out there last year.

The Orioles, OTOH, have one of the best IF defenses in all of baseball backing up 5 reliable starters in Jimenez(3.30 ERA in 2013, 3.92 career), Tillman(3.71 ERA in 2013, 4.28 career, 3.48 over the last 2 seasons), Chen(4.07 ERA in 2013, 4.04 career), Gonzalez(3.78 ERA in 2013, 3.58 career), and Norris(4.18 ERA in 2013, 4.36 career), with a top 10-15 prospect knocking at the door in Kevin Gausman. It’s also probably worth noting that, at 30 years old, Ubaldo is the oldest member of the rotation.

Bob Bunker
1 year 5 months ago

Have to disagree the Jays have the best offense when they scored 141 less runs then the Red Sox. I understand the injury side but Reyes, Bautista, Lawrie, and Rasmus have serious injury history and it is likely they will be hurt again.

Cabrera, Goins, and Navarro are 3 average to below average offensive players as well and the team doesn’t have much depth.

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

They were unusually unlucky with injuries last year; I would expect the pendulum to swing back in the other direction this year.

If Reyes is healthy in the leadoff, that lineup is an entirely different animal.

Damon Bowman
1 year 5 months ago

Sure, let’s look at the Yankees. Besides Roberts none of the other starting infielders were able to start at their positions for more than 20 games last season and they’re all on the wrong side of 30. McCann hasn’t started more than 130 games behind the plate since ’08. All three of the starting OF were unable to start more than 140 games each in ’13 and two of them (Gardner and Ellsbury) lost more than half of ’12 due to injuries. Rivera and Pettitte are gone and aren’t coming back. Sabathia is coming off his worst ever season as a starter. Tanaka looks good but is an MLB unknown. Pineda hasn’t started a regular season game since Obama was planning his re-election. Kuroda is very good but is starting the season as a 39-year old. And the team is coming off a season where they were last in the AL East in hitting, scoring, and HR. I think I feel comfortable in saying they’ll have problems compared to the Orioles.

Damon Bowman
1 year 5 months ago

Sure, let’s look at the Yankees. Besides Roberts none of the other starting infielders were able to start at their positions for more than 20 games last season and they’re all on the wrong side of 30. McCann hasn’t started more than 130 games behind the plate since ’08. All three of the starting OF were unable to start more than 140 games each in ’13 and two of them (Gardner and Ellsbury) lost more than half of ’12 due to injuries. Rivera and Pettitte are gone and aren’t coming back. Sabathia is coming off his worst ever season as a starter. Tanaka looks good but is an MLB unknown. Pineda hasn’t started a regular season game since Obama was planning his re-election. Kuroda is very good but is starting the season as a 39-year old. And the team is coming off a season where they were last in the AL East in hitting, scoring, and HR. I think I feel comfortable in saying they’ll have problems compared to the Orioles.

JJ
1 year 5 months ago

NYY had a mediocre lineup and rotation last season and they won 85 games. lol HATER!

joe shlablotnik
1 year 5 months ago

Love it.

Bob Bunker
1 year 5 months ago

Red Sox Fan here and I don’t like the Yankees at all. But signing Ervin Santana and counting on injury prone guys to be completely healthy does not make the Jays make up the 11 game gap between them and the Yanks especially when the Yanks made massive offensive improvements at several positions and signed Tanaka to solidify a rotation that is much better than the Jays.

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

I just don’t see it- yes, they added guys but they also lost the greatest closer of all-time and an offensive juggernaut in Cano. Their rotation is a bunch of question marks(Will CC bounce back? Will the 39 year old Kuroda continue to defy nature? Will Nova pick up where he left off or revert to his 2012 form? How smoothly will Tanaka’s transition be, and can he exceed the #3ish starter expectations that most scouts have placed on him? And what, if anything, will they get from Pineda, a guy who hasn’t pitched at the big league level since his rookie year in 2011?) and, to make matters worse, their IF defense is probably the worst in baseball. They’re old, they’re injury prone, and their bullpen is awful. They probably have the slimmest margin of error of any team in the division.

Jaysfan724
1 year 5 months ago

Ervin still has question marks facing him, but on a one year deal I can’t complain. It’s less of a risk than JJ and an upgrade over JA Happ. A necessary move at this point. With the way Spring Training has been brewing, Drew Hutchison will most likely be the 5th starter, which makes this Jays rotation not too bad after this move now.

Harrison
1 year 5 months ago

Such drama! Lebron, eat your heart out!

ziggy13
1 year 5 months ago

The Yankees have a rapidly declining Sabathia, completely unproven pitcher with most scouts agreeing that he’s a number 2 at best (Tanaka), Nova who’s been inconsistent, Pineda who hasn’t even pitched in the majors since they acquired him and ??? Tell me again how Santana would be questionable as your 5th starter?

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 5 months ago

CC has one bad year and he’s rapidly declined? The only thing that rapidly declined was his weight. Which in the long run may help him become better.

ziggy13
1 year 5 months ago

I agree with what others have been saying in that he’s a risk in Rogers and the AL East in general but on a 1 year deal I’ll take him, especially with how Happ and Morrow have been pitching this spring. (Although I don’t think odds are good that he’ll earn us a draft pick. Combo of being in tougher conditions along with not getting a deal after a stellar 2013 makes me a bit pessimistic on that front)

Richard Sherman
1 year 5 months ago

Or he can pitch badly in the toughest division in baseball and you will waste 14 mil and a draft pick.

Adam
1 year 5 months ago

Yes, but only a second round draft pick. The first round is protected.

Richard Sherman
1 year 5 months ago

I know that

JamieFC
1 year 5 months ago

If the Jays are healthy, their offence is superior to that of the Orioles.

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

Considering the Os scored 33 more runs than the Jays in 2013, and upgraded from Valencia/McClouth/Pierce to Cruz/Lough/Young…im just not seeing what you are apparently.

Though if kawasaki is in the MLB for any games against the Os again, were in trouble.

Jaysfan724
1 year 5 months ago

When the Jays had only had 3 guys play more than 118 games (Lind, Encarnacion, Arencibia)…I would say only being 33 runs below the O’s is impressive and shows they are better when healthy

JamieFC
1 year 5 months ago

Bautista was hurt for 44 games, Reyes 69, Rasmus 44, Cabrera 74, Lawrie 45 and Encarnacion 20. If the Jays were healthy, their offence would have been far superior to that of the Orioles.

Damon Bowman
1 year 5 months ago

Bautista hasn’t played more than 150 games since 2010. Rasmus has played more than 150 once in his career. Lawrie hasn’t played more than 125 games ever in his career. Encarnacion has surpassed 150 games once in 9 years. The last time Cabrera played 150+ he was juicing in KC three seasons ago. Reyes suited up for more than 135 games once in the last 5 seasons.

That’s way too many ifs to proclaim what they could do if healthy. All of these players are in and out of the lineup too often to make any proclamations about what they could do if healthy because they’ve never been together for any stretch of time. When they’re in the lineup together for 140-150 games, then we can make sensible comparisons. Until then, you’re hoping and dreaming.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

Take a look at the fangraphs projections for 2014. You will notice the Jays are projected to score the second most runs in the MLB, tied with the Red Sox, one behind the Rangers. They are better at hitting the ball than you think they are, and almost assuredly better than the Orioles, on paper.

Damon Bowman
1 year 5 months ago

The Jays have to stay healthy to do well — something none of them have shown a propensity for.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

The projections take past playing time in to account.

malna
1 year 5 months ago

Take a look at the fangraphs projections for 2014. You will notice the Jays are projected to score the second most runs in the MLB, tied with the Red Sox, one behind the Rangers. They are better at hitting the ball than you think they are, and almost assuredly better than the Orioles, on paper.

Andrew Ochs
1 year 5 months ago

And If my name was Justin Verlander I would be dating Kate Upton.

1 year 5 months ago

5th starter? Yea okay…

Aaron Johnson
1 year 5 months ago

This is an emotional roller coaster