A tentative deal may be close between hardball-playing free agent Ervin Santana and the Toronto Blue Jays. The starting pitcher will reportedly receive $14 million over one year.
However, Santana is seemingly holding the contract hostage. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the starter has stated it could be days before he makes his decision. He’s looking to see if he can get a better deal from the Baltimore Orioles — talk about baseball drama at its best here.
It looks like Santana has come to his senses and realized his original asking price of $100 million in a long-term deal was not going to happen. The MLB marketplace for starting pitching is a rewarding experience, as even the league average end up with good deals from teams due to a watered-down product.
The inconsistent Dominican arm has never reached the lofty expectations bestowed on him back in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels. When you look at his career, one comes to inconclusive results. His career highlights in ERA and WHIP:
ERA — Best: 3.24 (last season), 3.38 (2011). Worst: 5.76 (2007), 5.16 (2012)
WHIP — Best: 1.14 (last season), 1.12 (2008). Worst: 1.55 (2007), 1.47 (2009)
What version would the Blue Jays be getting? The “finally found his groove” 2013 Santana, the “neck-breaking hit parade” 2007 version? Does the truth lie in between?
Toronto needs this deal to take place as the squad’s rotation is in borderline shambles. The city was demanding it and if this signing indeed goes down, Alex Anthopoulos will have finally made an effort in 2014. Either that, or was he playing poker all along?
Whichever version of Santana ends up taking the mound this year, he would improve the Blue Jays’ current rotation. Everyone involved was waiting for this shoe to drop. As for Anthopoulos, it will be extremely necessary for him to make this move, for better or for worse.