Reactions To And Fallout From Ervin Santana Signing

Addressing his team's sudden and successful entry into the market for starter Ervin Santana, Braves GM Frank Wren said that he did not expect to be in the market for free agent starters, but felt Santana was the best option available going into the offseason. (Video of press conference via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.) It was Atlanta's good fortune that Santana remained unsigned when Kris Medlen walked off the mound with an injury on Sunday. Wren immediately made contact, knowing that he had to catch up quickly with other clubs further down the road on talks with Santana. "Once we started talking, we realized that Ervin was very interested in us as well, thought this was a good opportunity for him, and it was a perfect fit for us." 

  • For Atlanta, the message to the field staff and players was clear. "[The signing] means our GM and our front office want to win," manager Fredi Gonzalez said, as MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets.
  • The key for Santana was his desire to pitch in the National League, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos confirmed, saying that he was told Santana "had a strong desire to pitch in the NL and there was no way to compete with that." (MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm provides a transcript of Anthopoulos's chat with the media today.) The GM also emphasized that he was "very comfortable we did everything we could" to land Santana, who the club "viewed … as an impact starter." Anthopoulos implied some disappointment with the way things unfolded, declining comment on several questions about reports that a deal was done last Saturday by saying that he was "trying to take the high road here." 
  • From the Twins' perspective, most talks were "very exploratory," assistant GM Rob Antony told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press"I think what they were looking at and were looking for was different from what we were thinking," explained Antony. "… We weren't necessarily looking for a one-year guy."
  • Meanwhile, the Royals' short run with Santana is now officially over, but the team feels fine about how things worked out, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter"I think Erv's going to do very well," GM Dayton Moore said, "and we're going to get the pick. And it all worked out." Indeed it did: K.C. got a valuable draft choice and excellent season from Santana, all for the low price of $12MM and the rights to minor league lefty Brandon Sisk.


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68 Comments on "Reactions To And Fallout From Ervin Santana Signing"


Governator88
1 year 4 months ago

There’s likely a couple of holes getting patched up in the drywall somewhere at the Blue Jays office today. Possibly a new phone & laptop on route as well.

nickgarciataria
1 year 4 months ago

Among fans too, I’ll bet.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

Santana “had a strong desire to pitch in the NL and there was no way to compete with that.” Translation: Santana is scared that he will get crushed in the AL East and never make his millions.

BK
1 year 4 months ago

Can you blame him?

WashingtonRancors
1 year 4 months ago

I blame everyone!

Seamaholic
1 year 4 months ago

Jays are making that up or just assuming. No way he said that to them. Braves are a better fit for him in that they’re a much better team, with very good defense, and Atlanta is close to his home. Simple.

double m
1 year 4 months ago

I agree the Braves are a better fit but it’s looking like the Jays thought they had a done deal. It really doesn’t mater now anyway I hope he does ok for the Braves.

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

Well, yeah, all else being equal (money), you take the easiest job with the lowest tax rates that is closer to home. The Blue Jays could have tacked on a couple million more, but the collusive practices this offseason seems to prohibit bidding wars on non-elite free agents. The Blue Jays fans should take to the streets and stay away from the park.

ztoa
1 year 4 months ago

You don’t want Toronto to become Winnipeg now do you?

1 year 4 months ago

The Jays should’ve moved on either Garza or Jimenez when their prices went down. Not having Santana is worse than having Santana, but this is a team that sat around all offseason seemingly not caring about improving the rotation so I don’t see why anyone should be bent out of shape that the weeklong flirtation with Santana didn’t work out.

Dickey and Morrow will need to seriously step it up, but a healthy Jays team can still be a force.

nickgarciataria
1 year 4 months ago

I agree. On Jimenez. I’m feeling hasty about if Garza came to Toronto.

EndlessMikeJr
1 year 4 months ago

The AL East is the hardest place to pitch and you saw that with Javier Vasquez and AJ Burnett who had success after leaving New York.
That’s why Maddux didn’t come here 20 years ago and a pitcher like Glavine would have gotten destroyed had he pitched his whole career here like Pettitte almost did.Take Pettitte and Glavine and switched there teams and Pettitte is a hall of famer.

Louie
1 year 4 months ago

The AL East has been fine for David Price, James Shields, Jon Lester, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Alex Cobb, Clay Buchholz etc. over the past few years. Go back a bit earlier and you have names like Halladay, Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Schilling, Beckett, Mussina. If you’re good, you’re good.

jimfetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

Not sure anyone would equate Santana with those names.

Louie
1 year 4 months ago

He’s not in the same league as Kuroda, Cobb or Buchholz? Santana had bad years in ’09 and ’12 (when he was possibly injured) but was solid to very good in ’08, ’10, ’11 and last season.

jimfetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

Thinking more in terms of Price, Shields, Lester, Halladay, Clemens, and so on. The market did value him considerably lower than the obvious aces. Santana was good in KC, doubt that would translate to the launching pads of the East given his homer proclivities.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

If you put those guys in the NL they will look even better. NL is a fallback if you fail in the AL.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

That worked out real well for Johan Santana, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Rodger Clemens, Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee and Nolan Ryan…. All of whom put up their best years in the AL.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

What? Johan Santana swithed to the NL and his first season dropped his ERA 0.80 like everybody else does? Your point is? Then he got injured but that first season is the same as all the others switching to the weak NL.

The split is take away 0.70 of a pitchers ERA if you switch to the NL. Avarage NL pitchers should not even bother looking at teams in the AL.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

If all you care about is ERA let me know I will give up now… Johan’s best seasons were 2004-2006 with the Twins, Johnson was equaly good in the AL (1995) and NL (2001), Ryan was best in the AL in 1973 (Angels) and 1989 (Rangers).

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

Big Unit then had a 2.60 ERA in the NL, went to the AL had 3.79… Then had 5.00 in the AL, folded went back to the NL and off course dropped his ERA to 3.81…

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

If you go to a league with a DH more runs will be scored BOTH for and against you. Also if you pitch with a great defense behind you your ERA will go down. ERA is not a measure of how good or bad a pitcher is. Why single out league? Why not look at the opponent team or the stadium the game is played in?

Is pitching a game in the AL against the Astros or Twins harder than pitching a game in the NL against the Dodgers or Cardinals?

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

What do you mean both for and against you mean wins for apitcher is important. You try to talk down ERA as a unimportant stat but want to count wins??? You cares how many runs your team scores for your styarting pitcher. The fact is the differnce between the leagues is 0.70 in ERA. Ad it if you are a NL pitcher switching leagues, subtract it if you are in the AL and are lucky enough to get to pitchin the NL.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

I’m saying ERA doesn’t matter and is dependent on ton of factors that are totally unrelated to a pitchers talent or performance.

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

ERA does matter. Sure, park and defense can impact ERA, as well as quality of opponent, but over a large sample size ERA correlates very well with a pitchers talent level. I actually prefer R/9. Baseball is game whose outcome is determined by actual runs scored and runs surrendered.

Many of the stats like FIP, WAR, etc are based on nebulous assumptions, estimates and imperfect adjustments. They have very large error bands, the magnitude of which can only be estimated because the true value is an unknown.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

While the offense is better in the AL East because of the DH, some of the differences in ERA you are citing have a lot to do with the ballparks in the AL East. We now have league and park adjusted stats that give you a better understanding when comparing players in separate leagues instead of your great ERA.

thomstitute
1 year 4 months ago

That .70 era discrepancy is almost completely attributed to the fact that pitchers in the NL face a pitcher (.142 average) whereas their AL counterparts face a professional hitter in the same spot. Its not that the pitchers in the NL are better, but rather the fact that AL pitchers face an extra hitter each time through the lineup.

The game is just different and the AL format allows for more offense. Additionally, 4 of the top 8 friendliest hitters parks are found in the AL East.

The pitchers are the same, its the batters and ballparks that change the stats.

Seamaholic
1 year 4 months ago

Also, NL pitchers get taken out of games faster because they have to hit. This leaves AL pitchers throwing more late innings against guys who have seen them twice or more before. Another reason AL ERA’s are higher that has nothing to do with the quality of the pitcher.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

How can you mention Clemens. he was done in the AL ready to retire. Went back to the NL and won a CY Young, dominated NL. He went back to the AL could not cut it and then retired.

double m
1 year 4 months ago

Clements won the Cy Young in 97 and 98 with the Blue jays. Last time I checked they were in the AL.

Charlie Burns
1 year 4 months ago

You do realize that A) Clemens aggravated an old injury which caused him to go ahead and retire, and B) he was 44 when he retired which is really old for a player.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

Even a great like Schilling has the classic split. He is 4.00 Era pitcher in the AL and 3.30 pitcher in the NL just like everybody else.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

Schilling and Kuroda arguably had better NL numbers. Any of those other pitchers probably would have had better career stats in the NL. He wasnt saying you cant be a sucessful pitcher in the AL, just that it’s the tougher league to pitch in.

Puig Power
1 year 4 months ago

Sure look at the difference between Arizona and Boston’s ballparks.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

AJ Burnett the best season of his career (2008) in the AL East while playing with Toronto. He just had a hard time in NY from 2009-2011. From 2006-2008 he pitcher quite well in the AL East.

P.S. Regardless of league Maddux owns Pettitte.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

That had to do.more with the pressure of pitching for the Yankees.

rikersbeard
1 year 4 months ago

This is almost certainly false. Pettitte pitched on some dominant yankees teams. He pitched against other folks in the AL east who put up better numbers. Maybe Pettitte is just a really good pitcher, but not as good as some of those others.

MJ
1 year 4 months ago

This is basically a double edged sword. I don’t know why you AL homers like to act like this is some sort of superiority thing. You have an extra hitter. You should be scoring more runs. It would be pathetic if you didn’t.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

Yes but it is also crazy believing that a pitcher from the NL can keep up his stats when switching leagues, they enever do but fans of NL teams refuse to see that.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

If by stats you only mean ERA then you are correct. FIP, xFIP, WAR, GB%, K% ect all stay relatively constant when a pitcher changes leagues

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

FIP and WAR are park and league adjusted.

In baseball only runs change the scoreboard and determine who wins a game. Starting pitchers drop more than 0.5 ERA on a switch to the NL, and more than this if moving from the AL East. The few exceptions are when age and injury affect the pitcher, although Barry Zito is perhaps the one rare exception where his numbers got worse despite age and injury not being a factor, I suspect he just got off PED’s after signing his big contract.

Going the other way, guys like Pedro and Schilling, and Beckett after an adjustment year seemed to do ok, so I think elite pitchers will do well anywhere. Guys who have trouble keeping the ball in the park and who do not have a high K rate will almost always do better in the NL.

Of course, Santana has to be careful not to injure himself batting or on the bases as this will kill his market value in 2015.

TimotheusATL
1 year 4 months ago

I’m pretty sure that if Hiroki Kuroda can manage to do it that a lot of other pitchers can/could.

TimotheusATL
1 year 4 months ago

I’m pretty sure that if Hiroki Kuroda can manage to do it that a lot of other pitchers can/could.

BravesWin!!!
1 year 4 months ago

Tom Glavine was 16 – 10 against the AL with a 3.74 ERA. Also Interleague play didn’t start until 1997, so most of Glavine’s starts would have been in the middle and later half of his career. He would have still been a Hall of Famer in the AL. Seems like I remember him dominating some team from Cleveland in the mid 90’s, I wanna say it was a big game or something.

BravesWin!!!
1 year 4 months ago

Tom Glavine was 16 – 10 against the AL with a 3.74 ERA. Also Interleague play didn’t start until 1997, so most of Glavine’s starts would have been in the middle and later half of his career. He would have still been a Hall of Famer in the AL. Seems like I remember him dominating some team from Cleveland in the mid 90’s, I wanna say it was a big game or something.

cyberboo
1 year 4 months ago

Santana wanted to pitch in the NL where he only faces seven hitters, since the eighth hitter is the weakest and is usually on the field for defense – not offense, plus he has to face the pitcher that bunts ninety percent of the time or strikes out standing in the box. Only facing seven hitters makes a huge difference, where in the AL east, he would be facing nine hitters that could light him up, without a break or easy inning. That makes a huge difference and as others pointed out, put NL pitchers in the AL and they fail. Put AL starters in the NL and they excel with great seasons. To me, santana would have been the 2012 version if he signed with Toronto or Baltimore, since his stats show an ERA ranging from seven to over nine facing the AL east. That is the last place you want to pitch with the green monster in Boston, the homer-dome in Toronto, the short porch in New York, especially if you are on a one-year deal and want to succeed for a lucrative contract in 2015.

slashieboy .
1 year 4 months ago

Totally true. A one year deal in the NL vs a one year deal in the AL East will get him double his money his free agent contract next year. Just facts.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 4 months ago

You don’t think GMs take into account the difference between pitching in the AL and NL?

Pete Harnisch
1 year 4 months ago

You don’t think GMs take into account the difference between pitching in the AL and NL?

Seamaholic
1 year 4 months ago

Organizations have heard of park adjustments. Trust me.

Yankees420
1 year 4 months ago

But he said “just facts” so it must true.

MJ
1 year 4 months ago

Put David Ortiz in the NL and he’d be out of a job fast. Ervin Santana decided he wanted to finally play real baseball. Can’t fault him for that.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

Ortiz has played 1st.during interleague but Matt Stairs, Pat Burell and Jim Thome had sucessful carrers in the NL in their later years.

thomstitute
1 year 4 months ago

Ortiz just hit .300+/30HR/100+ RBIs. He is terrible at defense but there are a lot of NL teams who would take that type of production out of 1B.

I’m a Giants fan and we just gave Morse 8 million to “field” left and bat 7th and he had one season that approached Ortiz’s average season.

Papi might only play 125 games and would get consistently lifted for a defensive replacement, but he would be a starting 1B in the NL.

northsfbay
1 year 4 months ago

You sound like you have been listening to ESPN.

jimfetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

Worked out well for everyone, Royals lost about $2m and Santana, and gained Vargas, Infante, and a high draft pick.

orangeoctober
1 year 4 months ago

as an orioles fan, im ok with it. santana almost definitely would have been an improvement over chen/gonzo/norris, but im happy with the moves the club made and with what the orioles currently have. the deal with the braves was probably the best one for him since it was a good amount of money and he’s not pitching in an offensive powerhouse division with several bandboxes. he prob figures he’s set in the rotation and has the best chance of putting up good numbers in that park and in that division, plus the braves are a good team so with the one year deal maybe he can do very well in 2014 and get a big multi-year payday like he wanted this offseason

Christopher A. Otto
1 year 4 months ago

GM: “We actually believed that [name of only remaining available starting pitcher] was the best free-agent out there when the offseason began, so this is the perfect fit for us.”

BG921
1 year 4 months ago

It’s funny seeing people talk about the differences between pitching in the NL and AL. Yes, some pitchers do well in both leagues and others struggle with the adjustment. Most of the people being named switched to the AL later in their careers and regressed accordingly (Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson just to name a few) and Clemens did great with Houston with the help PEDs and roids and struggled with the Yankees because of age more than anything. I have no doubts that changing leagues helps to lower the ERA for some pitchers, but now we have park adjusted stats and other metrics to determine how well a pitcher performs in each league. I think Ervin Santana will benefit from the Braves strong defense and bullpen and I don’t understand why people would fault him for choosing the best option available to him. The Jays and Orioles may have offered more years , but he’s joining a team that won 96 games with two black holes in the lineup and other numerous injuries.

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

I agree, park and league adjustments, imperfect as they are do normalize the stats somewhat. However, from a marketing perspective, you want the raw numbers to look attractive, and going to the weakest division in baseball in a league without a DH is probably smart. Also, he is closer to the DR and Miami which is better for his family

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

Well he just put up a nice season in the AL Central and no one bit. I don’t think doing it in the NL East is going to help anymore. .

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

“Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos confirmed, saying that he was told Santana “had a strong desire to pitch in the NL and there was no way to compete with that.”

Pity Blue Jay fans. Yes, there is a way to compete with that, throw an extra couple of million at him. Their owners are the richest in MLB and they got outbid by the Braves.

nickgarciataria
1 year 4 months ago

As a Blue Jays fan it makes me wonder about Anthopolous’s lack of activity this offseason… I can’t help but wonder if they’re even trying.

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

Well, its not like they have any competition in Canada, so they have a monopoly on TV revenues. Also, they received 15 million in revenue sharing dollars last year, so maybe they think that by increasing revenues by winning, that they will just lose those dollars. No incentive to win. Some of the moves last year did not work out well, so maybe Anthopolous is a bit gun shy too. All of those may be in play to different degrees

Jefftown37
1 year 4 months ago

We don’t know if throwing a few more millions at him would have worked.

pft2
1 year 4 months ago

You never know if you don’t offer them

northsfbay
1 year 4 months ago

At one time the Yankees and Red Sox were strong. Because of that some fans think the AL is stronger.

1 year 4 months ago

???? AL East is the best division in baseball. Yankees and Red Sox are still strong, pretty sure the Sox just won the world series…