Poll: Ervin Santana’s Free Agency Case

There are now three free agents remaining who are tied to draft-pick compensation. For two of them — defense-first infielder Stephen Drew and defensively-limited slugger Kendrys Morales — the situation appears simple. Their limitations prevent them from being the kind of premier players who drive their own market. And, at present, their skillsets do not have the multiple suitors (i.e., teams with both need for and motivation to spend on that player) necessary to create a small bidding war. 

But that is not the situation of Ervin Santana, a starting pitcher who could, in theory, upgrade any rotation in baseball. (Indeed, he's been tied to a laundry list of clubs.) He has posted 200+ innings with a sub-4.00 ERA in three of the last four years. At age 31, Santana is not particularly young, but neither is he particularly old.

As the spring goes on, potential demand is likely only to rise as the inevitable arm injuries continue to occur. Santana is the only impact hurler left on the open market. Meanwhile, the most attractive trade targets increasingly seem likely to stay home for the time being. 

In other words, Santana's market is still wide open; after all, the Brewers were a surprising, late-March landing spot for Kyle Lohse last year. In that respect, it is hardly shocking to hear that Santana has not dropped his demand, which reportedly stands in the range of four years and $50MM (the comp du jour for good-but-imperfect starters). 

Though there is plenty of time for Santana to find a taker for his price tag, of course, he could ultimately reach a point at which waiting for a buyer means missing regular-season action. Agent Bean Stringfellow said recently that his team had discussed the possibility of waiting to sign until after the June amateur draft to shed the drag of compensation. "Ervin Santana is a front-line starting pitcher. He will be compensated as such," said Stringfellow. "Whatever it takes to make that happen, we will make it happen, simple as that." If it comes down to it, though, would Santana take what he can get, as did Lohse? Or would he really be willing to test the uncharted waters of a qualifying offer holdout?

So, the poll covers two questions: First, what kind of deal will Santana ultimately get? And second, when will he get it?

Click here for the results.

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10 Comments on "Poll: Ervin Santana’s Free Agency Case"

1 year 6 months ago

2010-11 were the only two season where Santana had any consistency in his performance. While the fact that he’s been healthy counts for something, Couple that with the draft pick and how close it is to Opening Day, the chances at him getting 50 million are looking a lot less likely.

1 year 6 months ago

He’ll sign after the draft Because Royals. That’s how things work for them; whatever is the worst possible outcome is the likeliest.

1 year 6 months ago

I would never let anyone named Bean Stringfellow represent me in any capacity.

Nathan Boley
1 year 6 months ago

Santana is better than a lot of people give him credit for. He’s had three seasons of 200+IP and sub-4 ERAs out of the last four. His 2012 was terrible but he’s shown middle-of-the-rotation stuff for most of his career.

People made fun of Lohse when the same thing was going on with him last year yet he still got a decent deal with the Brewers and so far it’s worked out really well for both sides. If I were a NL team in a flyball-friendly park looking for a little pitching (Padres, Pirates), I would look hard at Santana. He’s better than people around here are giving him credit for.

1 year 6 months ago

Defense first for Drew? He had the 4th highest wOBA among all SS with 500 PA or more. He also played plus defense, but that’s not his only skill.

1 year 6 months ago

can you show the results of the survey?

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

I think ervin santana will sign a 30 million deal before opening day but the rangers will not sign him

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

um the os have already sign johan santana