There was no good answer for the Atlanta Braves or at least no answer that came without significant cost attached. When Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy were evident to miss a significant amount of time and Medlen possibly out for the season, the Braves had to do something to strengthen their rotation if they wanted to have a chance to win. The fact that starter Ervin Santana was still available was a bonus for the team.
They will go over their payroll target and they lose a draft pick which is the worst part. Even at that cost, it beats bringing up young talented starters who are not ready yet. Nobody likes injuries and bringing up a kid who isn’t ready to carry the MLB load is a recipe for disaster. The Braves know that better than anyone.
For those reasons it was necessary to make this move. It is a one year deal so there is no commitment past this season. Chances are they could give Santana a qualifying offer after this season which would return to them the draft pick they lost in signing him assuming he signs elsewhere. It is possible that Santana and the Braves could hit it off as well of course.
No matter what the situation with the unfortunate injuries, the Braves are now in a much better position. They will add Santana to Julio Teheran, Freddy Garcia and Alex Wood though Santana and Mike Minor will take a few weeks to be regular season ready. At that point the staff will be at a necessary position of depth once again with Teheran, Garcia, Wood, Santana and Minor having to also find a spot for Gavin Floyd and possibly David Hale.
If Beachy returns as well during the season it could be one of the deepest rotations in the game in terms of available talent that can get the job done. What it will certainly provide are options for Fredy Gonzalez to be able to put the best rotation on the field for the meat of the regular season and hopefully heading into the playoffs.