The Braves announced that they have officially made a one-year, $15.3MM qualifying offer to right-hander Ervin Santana, who will now have a week to accept or decline the offer. Should he decline and sign elsewhere, which seems likely, the Braves would receive a compensatory draft pick at the end of the first round of next year’s draft.
Santana, 31, enjoyed a solid season for Atlanta in which he posted a 3.95 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 42.7 percent ground-ball rate in 196 innings of work. While his ERA rose, metrics such as FIP (3.39) and xFIP (3.47) felt Santana had his best season since 2008.
Santana was hit with a QO last offseason as well and struggled to find a deal, though that may have been more due to the fact that his agents (two of whom no longer represent Santana) were said to be seeking a deal north of $110MM than the fact that Santana required a draft pick in order to sign. Even with a QO hanging over his head, Santana was able to find a one-year deal worth the exact amount of the QO ($14.1MM) late in the offseason, and he had similar one-year offers from both Baltimore and Toronto as well as three-year offer in the $30-33MM range from the Twins.
Suffice it to say, while the QO likely impacted his value in a negative manner, it certainly didn’t eliminate all interest in him on the open market. I’d wager that hitting the market with more realistic expectations this time could be beneficial — a sentiment which Tim Dierkes elaborated upon in his recent Free Agent Profile for Santana. Tim ultimately predicted a four-year deal north of $50MM for Santana — a projection with which I agree.
Earlier today, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted that Santana has indicated that he’d consider accepting the QO, though as O’Brien noted shortly thereafter, it’s possible that was simply posturing by Santana’s camp in an effort to dissuade the team from making the offer in the first place (Twitter links).
You can use MLBTR’s Free Agent Tracker to follow everyone who’s received a QO to this point and track their status in the coming week as they make their decisions.