Although the Toronto Blue Jays were able to win their Grapefruit League matchup against the Minnesota Twins in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, the eventful game at the ballpark was quickly overshadowed by what was going on behind the scenes. The Jays have all of a sudden re-entered the mix in the Ervin Santana sweepstakes and have apparently made a verbal agreement with the righty that would guarantee him a one-year deal with the club worth $14 million.
Even though the Jays are the apparent front-runners to land Santana in the very near future, there is still reason to believe that things can change. Santana and his agent apparently said they were giving other teams until 5 p.m. EST to come up with a better deal than what the Jays were willing to offer the native of the Dominican Republic. The Baltimore Orioles appear to be second in line for Santana as they have said to have offered him a one-year deal worth $13 million plus incentives.
The signing of Santana for the Jays would definitely help put them back on the map in regards to their chances of climbing the steep ladder in the AL East. However, we have learned all too well to save that sigh of relief for when deals are actually set in stone. Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has done this exact type of thing before. He stays absolutely silent and then all of a sudden busts the doors down with some great news for fans of the Jays, then calmly downplays the situation when his deal inevitably falls through.
Signing Santana is something that the Jays can’t afford to miss out on, especially since they have now raised the ears of everyone in Toronto and beyond. Although it seems like the two parties have met halfway and are close to making something happen, one can’t get their hopes up that all of a sudden there are no longer two spots in the rotation with a vacancy sign hanging from them. Until Santana’s signature is jotted down on paper, don’t invest too much time in thinking that the Jays have just improved their starting rotation. It may be days or even weeks until Santana signs with someone.