The Ervin Santana sweepstakes has come to an end, as the Atlanta Braves signed the indecisive righty to a one-year, $14.1 million contract. Throwing its last-minute hat in the ring as well as a wrench in the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles‘ game-plans. One has to wonder if the Braves would have even pulled off this swooping-in heist if starter Kris Medlen didn’t succumb to injury.
Somewhere in the south at this very moment, citizens are relishing a small piece of payback for the 1992 World Series. Atlanta’s tomahawk chop has swung.
With Alex Anthopoulos letting Santana slip through his fingers, a call for a GM report card is warranted. Now, Santana has the word “Risk” engraved on his birth certificate, but that does not clear Anthopoulos’ name, this entire process only highlights the GM’s previous missteps this offseason.
Enter A.J. Burnett. It’s bewildering that nothing was made out of the Blue Jays not heavily pursuing a potential reunion of the perfect stop-gap acquisition for this organization. Some scoff and say he should collect on his old age pension plan. Well, the 37-year-old veteran is coming off his 2013 NL tour with a 209/67-K/BB ratio in 191 IP to show for it. Two words: Giddy up.
Burnett was had for $16 million over one year, only $2 million above the Santana offer. Anthopoulos must deem his 4th overall K/9 rate of 9.85 unimpressive. Regret will set in soon enough.
Anthopoulos let the southpaw boat float on as well. A fixture the Jays are in desperate need of. Resurgent lefty Scott Kazmir, one who signed a two-year, $22 million deal with the Oakland Athletics, is on his way back to prominence. A dominant second half with glaring statistics, a 2.13 BB/9 mixed with a 10.25 K/9. With velocity that grew each and every month of the season, let’s just say he will no longer be employed by the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Two affordable pieces to aid to your franchise’s biggest weaknesses. These are glaring omissions, ones that in the wake of Santana jumping ship to Hot-lanta needed to be dealt with head on.
The city of Toronto’s faith in Anthopoulos still resides, however, there is no upswing present, it’s diminishing with each passing season. The J.P. Ricciardi category lurks in the background, and nobody wants to be compared to the man who once drafted Ricky Romero with the 6th pick when Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen and Jay Bruce went 7th, 11th and 12th.
Report Card: C- Average (with no extra credit to speak of)