9:27 am: Santana’s suspension has been served and he is eligible to return to the active roster, per David O’Brien of the Athletic (Twitter link).
8:05 am: The Braves are acquiring right-hander Edgar Santana from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Pittsburgh designated Santana for assignment earlier this week.
A few years ago, Santana looked to have solidified himself as a reliable bullpen arm in Pittsburgh. In 84.1 innings between 2017-18, he managed a solid 3.31 ERA/3.77 SIERA. Santana didn’t miss many bats for a reliever (21.0% strikeout percentage), but he was quite good at avoiding free passes (6.8% walk rate) and racked up ground balls at a decent 45.6% clip.
Unfortunately, Santana suffered a torn UCL and required Tommy John Surgery in October 2018. The timing of the procedure cost him the entire 2019 season. Santana was then hit with an 80-game PED suspension last June, keeping him out of action for all of last year’s abbreviated season.
Nearly three years removed from his most recent game action, it’s unclear whether Santana will be able to recapture any of his former promise. He does still have a pair of minor-league option years remaining, so he’ll give the Braves some additional bullpen flexibility if the front office is sufficiently impressed with his current form to keep him on the 40-man roster. Atlanta freed up a 40-man spot (and thinned out its righty bullpen depth) in the Orlando Arcia trade earlier this week, so no corresponding move is necessary to accomodate Santana’s arrival.