The Braves were the surprise winners of the Ervin Santana sweepstakes, signing a one-year, $14.1MM deal with the free agent right-hander earlier today. We've already published one batch of items about how the Santana signing impacts the other teams who were in the hunt for his services, but here's some news about what the signing means for Atlanta…
- Santana's deal will raise the Braves' payroll to around the $107MM threshold, but club chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk has no problem with the added money since the team is "in a winning mode," he tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman. "It's the right time. Money was not the issue so much as, 'Is it the right time to do it?' We want to send a message to the guys in this clubhouse, our fans and our sponsors and the whole organization that we expect to win."
- "The [Braves'] announced move to Cobb County has become the gift that keeps on giving," Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes (Insider access required). Since the team's new stadium plan was announced, the Braves have had the financial ability to sign Santana and ink several key players to multiyear extensions.
- Braves GM Frank Wren deserves credit for acting quickly to sign Santana, Jeff Schultz of the Journal-Constitution writes, once it became clear that Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy's injuries were serious. In Schultz's words, "more often than not [Wren] is not proactive in situations like this."
- The Braves didn't approach Medlen about an extension this winter, David O'Brien of the Journal-Constitution tweets. Medlen agreed to a one-year, $5.8MM deal for 2014 to avoid arbitration in his second arb-eligible season, and he is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season. Of course, both Medlen's future in Atlanta and his pitching future in general could be in question as it appears likely the right-hander will soon undergo his second Tommy John surgery.