Ervin Santana Rumors
Jim Callis of Baseball America presented the assigned bonus pool values for each club's selections over the first ten rounds of the upcoming amateur draft. This breakdown provides additional detail on MLB's allocation of bonus pool money by pick. Here are some American League notes:
- One player off to a happier start to his season is Ervin Santana, who was acquired by the Royals from the Angels after a disappointing 2012. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star addressed the possibility of an extension for Santana, who will be a free agent after this season. Dutton downplayed that likelihood, reasoning that if Santana keeps throwing well, he will be set up for a large free-agent payday that the Royals probably cannot afford to buy out. If he falters, the Royals likely have more attractive in-house options for their 2014 rotation.
- Dutton also threw cold water on the idea of a deal sending Mike Moustakas and a prospect to the Padres for fellow third baseman Chase Headley. Headley's current and future salary levels are likely too high for the Royals, says Dutton, whereas Moustakas will likely not hit arbitration until 2015.
- The Mariners, like the Royals, hope to join the contending ranks in the immediate future. As Dave Cameron writes for U.S.S. Mariner, the team's efforts should be aided by an increased payroll supported by increased television revenues. The team had an opt out clause in its broadcast licensing deal with ROOT Sports. Instead of simply negotiating another licensing arrangement, the Mariners bought a majority stake in ROOT. The club's ownership of its own regional sports network will allow it effectively to shield TV dollars from MLB's revenue sharing arrangement.
- While next year's free agent market may not present as good a buying opportunity for the M's as in years past, Cameron explores how revenue imbalance will still make its mark. MLB may not permit large cash transfers in trades, but Cameron says that creative extend-and-trade scenarios could effectively allow large revenue clubs to flex their economic muscles.
- The Doug Fister trade may have brought controllable, younger players to Seattle at the time it was completed, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times agrees with MLBTR's Steve Adams that the deal went sour for the Mariners and GM Jack Zduriencik. Ultimately, while there is still some potential upside to be realized by the M's, it seems likely that the Tigers will remain the winners of that swap.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who brought the now-29-year-old Fister to Detroit, commented today on the contract that brought former closer Jose Valverde back in the organization's fold. According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, Dombrowski said that the opt out clause in Valverde's deal can be exercised on May 8. The original date was May 5, as originally reported, but it was moved back due to delays in getting Valverde to extended spring training. The team appears to be in no rush to decide whether to elevate Valverde to the big league club.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk examined the market for Kyle Lohse and wrote it would be very surprising to see the Royals make a move for him. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star agrees, even if a rash of injuries were to hit their starters, because the Royals are $10MM over their projected break-even point in payroll. Dutton adds James Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, and Wade Davis can't pitch poorly enough this spring to lose their spots in the rotation. Elsewhere around the American League:
- The Yankees will not let the way Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM contract has panned out affect their negotiations with Robinson Cano, GM Brian Cashman told ESPN Radio's Ian O'Connor (transcript courtesy of ESPNNewYork.com). "There's only so much you can spend, but we'll look at Robbie as an individual, not as it relates to whatever we're doing with Alex Rodriguez and our commitment and the regression we have experienced with Alex," said Cashman.
- The Yankees announced Curtis Granderson will miss the next ten weeks with a fractured right forearm after being hit with a pitch during today's Spring Training game. Non-roster invitees Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera plus minor leaguers Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte are the in-house candidates to replace the Yankees' leading home run hitter from a year ago, tweets the YES Network's Jack Curry.
- If the Yankees do go outside the organization to replace Granderson, they can find a better option toward the end of camp, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
- A deal for Alfonso Soriano could make sense for the Yankees and the Cubs have made it clear to the industry they would be willing to pay much of the $36MM owed Soriano for the next two years, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links).
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com asked if the Yankees turn to Vernon Wells to replace Granderson. If so, the Angels would still have to eat a majority of the $42MM due Wells over the next two years (Twitter links).
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff, he's satisfied with the DH candidates already in camp and will not scour the free agent market. "We’re answering the questions here,” Showalter said. “We’re going to find it right here. We spent a lot of time getting this group in. We’re going to look in our backyard." Wilson Betemit is the main candidate to DH against right-handers while Russ Canzler and Danny Valencia are the favorites against left-handers. Dubroff also sees Nolan Reimold in the mix as well as regulars whom Showalter wants to give a breather.
Earlier today, the Red Sox assured that longtime designated hitter David Ortiz would be in Boston through 2014 when they signed him to a two-year deal. Earlier today, general manager Ben Cherington addressed the media regarding the makeup of his team and the upcoming offseason. WEEI.com's Alex Speier has a rundown...
- The team has decisions to make at first base, shortstop, both corner outfield positions and in the fifth spot of the rotation. Speier notes that the team must also look beyond 2013 at the team's long-term plans for center field and catcher.
- Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey should occupy the first four spots in the rotation, but the team will go outside the organization to acquire a fifth starter. That could happen via either free agency or trade.
- Cherington didn't sound overly optimistic when discussing his chances of re-signing Cody Ross: “We’ve had a number of conversations. Obviously we’re into free agency now. We didn’t sign him before that started. The door will remain open, and we’ll continue to talk, but once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that ... We'll keep talking. At the same time, we've got to consider alternatives, too."
- The Red Sox were never particularly close to completing a trade for either Ervin Santana or Dan Haren when the Angels made both right-handers available last week.
- Boston could hire a new pitching coach and hitting coach within a week's time.
- Cherington told Speier that he hopes Ortiz retires as a member of the Red Sox (Twitter link). He added that he hopes that retirement is several years away.
The Twins made a push to trade for Ervin Santana before the Royals acquired him this week, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports. The Twins were “in heavily” on Santana, but they wanted the Angels to absorb more than $1MM in salary. Here are some more Twins-related notes from Wolfson...
- Rays starter James Shields could become a target for the Twins in Wolfson’s view.
- Assistant GM Rob Antony was expected to speak with the agent for second baseman Alexi Casilla yesterday. It seems likely that the Twins will non-tender Casilla, who’s arbitration eligible this winter. You can view MLBTR’s full list of non-tender candidates here.
- The Twins have inquired about right-hander Randy Messenger. The 31-year-old last pitched at the MLB level in 2009, but he is coming off of a strong season with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. Messenger posted a 2.52 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 196 2/3 innings this past season.
Here are some notes from around the AL Central...
- The White Sox won't make any qualifying offers to any of their remaining free agents, GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including Jim Margalus of the South Side Sox blog). Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski and Brett Myers all weren't expected to receive the $13.3MM qualifying offers, though Hahn told all three players he would be interested in bringing them back to Chicago next season.
- In an interview with The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 radio, Hahn re-stated his interest in Youkilis. "He knows there is no confusion in his mind about our desire to bring him back. So we're going to stay on that, stay in communication," Hahn said. "It's not a great time to be a club in the free-agent market looking for a third baseman, the player pool is not real deep, so I expect Kevin will be popular, but we're going to be in on that until the end, I think."
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Don Kelly that the team was interested in re-signing him to a minor league contract, Kelly tells George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. Kelly elected to become a free agent when the Tigers outrighted him off the 40-man roster yesterday.
- With Jose Valverde on his way out of Detroit, Dombrowski and Jim Leyland hinted that rookie Bruce Rondon could be the Tigers' closer next season, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. The Venezuelan right-hander turns 22 in December and has a 2.53 ERA with 213 strikeouts in 196 minor league innings, though Rondon has only eight innings of experience above the Double-A level.
- The Royals' acquisition of Ervin Santana is "not a great trade," writes Rany Jazayerli of the Rany On The Royals blog, but he ultimately likes the move since it shows Kansas City is willing to make aggressive moves to upgrade their rotation and, even if Santana doesn't pan out, the Royals are only committed to him for one season.
- The Red Sox and David Ortiz are still "not very close" to a new contract, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. The two sides have reportedly been discussing a new two-year deal recently.
- The Yankees have some interest in Torii Hunter, reports Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News (on Twitter). Since the Angels are unlikely to make Hunter a qualifying offer, it wouldn't cost a draft pick to sign him.
- Earlier today the Blue Jays exercised their $3MM option for Darren Oliver, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that the veteran left-hander is still leaning towards retirement (Twitter link).
- The Marlins looked into trading for Ervin Santana before the Royals acquired the right-hander earlier today, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer listed the pros and cons of some free agent corner outfielders who could be of interest to the Phillies.
- The Angels are still working to trade Dan Haren and expect to move him by Friday, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter links). Haren will bring a much bigger return that what they received for Santana, adds Bowden.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that "in all likelihood we weren't going to exercise (Santana's) option ... We got piece we didn't have," reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- Re-signing Zack Greinke is a "huge priority" for the Angels, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Part of the club's motivation to move Santana (and Haren) was to free up money for Greinke.
- The Angels are showing no inclination of making Torii Hunter a $13.3MM qualifying offer by this Friday's deadline, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (on Twitter). The Halos will not receive draft pick compensation if Hunter signs elsewhere in that case.
- Marco Scutaro told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that his first choice this offseason is to re-sign with the Giants (Twitter link). When asked what kind of contract he was seeking, the infielder joked "15 years, three thousand million dollars."
- "There's a market established," said Jeremy Affeldt to Baggarly in reference to Brandon League's new contract (Twitter link). The veteran southpaw said he will cherish his time with the Giants if he doesn't re-sign with them.
- Oliver Perez pitched to a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 relief innings for the Mariners this year, and he told MLB.com's Josh Liebeskind that he enjoyed his new role and would like to remain in the bullpen going forward. Perez will be a free agent this offseason.
- The Dodgers will hire Bob Engle as their Latin America scouting director, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Engle left the Mariners this month and had previously worked with the Blue Jays as well. He's responsible for signing Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez as amateurs, among others.
4:59pm: The Angels are sending $1MM to the Royals, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).
4:15pm: The Angels weren't sure about Ervin Santana, but the Royals want to see if he can re-establish himself as an above-average MLB starter. The Royals acquired Santana and cash from the Angels for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk, the teams announced. The Angels exercised Santana's 2013 option before completing the trade, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).
“We’ve stated all along that starting pitching was a priority this offseason and acquiring someone with the resume of Ervin Santana immediately upgrades our rotation,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement released by the team.
The Angels had limited interest in exercising Santana's $13MM option option, but the Royals appear to consider it reasonable. The Royals quietly checked in on Santana's medicals yesterday before completing the deal today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
The 29-year-old posted a 5.16 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 43.2% ground ball rate in 178 innings this past season. Santana's average fastball velocity declined to 91.7 mph, but his swinging strike rate remained constant at 8.4%. He had completed at least 220 innings with ERAs below 4.00 in 2010 and 2011. Rosenthal reported late last night that the Angels were trying to move Santana and Dan Haren.
Sisk, 27, made 50 relief appearances at Triple-A this past season. He posted a 2.54 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 67 1/3 innings -- numbers that match up with his career averages through five minor league seasons.
The Royals began the offseason with a clear need for starting pitching. So far they have traded for Santana and claimed Chris Volstad. Volstad remains a non-tender candidate, but Santana will join Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy in the team's projected 2013 rotation. It won't be surprising if GM Dayton Moore continues pursuing starting pitching.
The Royals surely hope this acquisition works out better than the one they made early last offseason. A year ago Kansas City traded Melky Cabrera to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez in a deal that didn't work out for the Royals. To their credit, they did flip Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched well down the stretch.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade (on Twitter) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported Sisk's inclusion in the deal (also on Twitter). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported two days ago that the Angels were exploring trades involving Santana and Haren. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
The Angels are aggressively trying to trade starters Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. It’ll be an upset if they don’t complete at least one deal, and one MLB executive expects both right-handers to be moved. The Angels have been weighing possible trades for at least two days now.
The contracts of Haren ($15.5MM option) and Santana ($13MM option) both include options that could appeal to other teams, even though they aren’t particularly appealing to the Angels. The Angels will decline Santana’s option and there’s every indication they’d decline Haren’s, Rosenthal reports.
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto isn’t the only one discussing possible deals. A number of teams are already engaged in serious trade talks for starting pitchers, according to Rosenthal. Some of the names in play are more appealing than Haren and Santana.
The latest from notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com...
- The Mets are discussing a long-term deal with David Wright, Heyman reports. They'll exercise the third baseman's $16MM option for 2013 by tomorrow, assuming a larger deal isn't completed by then. The sides appear to have made progress, though some say the negotiations are progressing slowly. It appears the discussions will continue after the option's exercised, Heyman writes.
- The Athletics are talking to free agent shortstop Stephen Drew about a new contract, Heyman reports. The A's declined their half of Drew's 2013 mutual option yesterday, but assistant general manager David Forst said the team will continue talking to him about a possible deal.
- Everth Cabrera has hired Scott Boras as his agent, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Cabrera, a former ACES client, will be arbitration eligible for the first time this coming offseason. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
- The Angels are still talking to teams about possible deals involving Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, Heyman reports. In case you missed it, MLBTR reported today that Santana switched agencies again.