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Rosenthal: Ervin Santana wants more than $100 million

Nov 7, 2013, 8:34 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Getty Images

It’s still early November, so there’s no harm in aiming high. According to’s Ken Rosenthal, free agents Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco are doing just that. Santana wants “more than $100 million” for five years, while Nolasco would settle for a mere $80 million over the same timeframe.

Santana’s asking price would seem to be the more realistic of the two. He has been up and down in his career, but he’s had three seasons of at least 210 innings pitched and ERAs under 3.50. Nolasco’s career-best ERA is 3.52, his career mark is 4.37 and he’s spent his entire career working in the easier league. Certainly, no AL team is going to fork over $14 million-$16 million per year in the hopes that Nolasco can make the transition, whereas Santana would fit just about anywhere.

Considering that Nolasco was a below average starter four straight years prior to his nice 2013, he’d going to be very risky on anything longer than a two-year deal. He’ll get three years and maybe even four from some team, but it’s hard to imagine anyone giving him five.

Santana, on the other hand, likely will approach $100 million for five years. $90 million, anyway, seems realistic. Because he has fewer durability questions than Matt Garza, many seem to view him as the top starter in free agency (with Japanese non-free agent Masahiro Tanaka on another level entirely).

  1. tigers182 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    I think there’s a difference between aiming high, and being high.

    • donshula - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      in pesos maybe

  2. jre80 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    That’s way too high for either of these guys. Santana 12-13 mil per. Nolasco bout 8-9 mil per

    • halejon - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:01 AM

      Just not realistic. Dempster got 13 last year for his 35-36 year seasons and was older and not as good over his previous 3. Salaries go up, so no way is Santana going to lock into that for 5 years from now.

  3. chill1184 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    …and I want the winning powerball numbers

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      Before or after the draw?

  4. tfbuckfutter - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I would also like $100 million, please and thank you.

    • donshula - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      put me on that list thank you

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        I’m not as picky. I’ll just take the $80 million Ricky Nolasco is having thank you

  5. giantboy99 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM


  6. vols84 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    As a Royal fan I wish Santana the best. Hope GM Dayton can replace him.

  7. pastabelly - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Well, the Yankees need pitching and they could deliver that to Santana.

  8. cackalackyank - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Wow when I saw the tease for this post it just said Santana and Nolasco. At first I thought I had gone back in time @ 5 years and the Santana in question was named Johan. As it turns out 20 mil per was too much for that Santana 5 years ago, too.

    • kkingbrian - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      What will really blow your mind is that Ervin Santana’s actual first name is also Johan. He uses Ervin to avoid confusion.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        My accountant’s name is Carlos Santana but he goes by Irving Greenbaum to avoid confusion.

      • jwbiii - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:17 AM

        I’m just really impressed that a 65 year old guitar player (and accountant, I guess) can play catcher!

  9. kcrobert10 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Ya 5 yrs 100 million is way to much for the royals. So long Ervin u were great this yr in kc. I wouldn’t give him that kinda deal especially if u play in a homerun park or a division like the al east with lots of homerun parks but the Yankees may be desperate and stupid enough to do it. Hope that works out for u guys I doubt it though history says giving guys like him that kinda money and yrs blows up on you every time.

  10. NYTolstoy - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    I hope this is a joke? 100 million for a guy who has had only 3 years under 3.50 era? That’s pretty average for a pitcher and to pay a guy 100 million is Zito territory. Dare I say more.

    • cackalackyank - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Yeah I’m thinking 100 million is way over Zito’s reach these days.

  11. scoobies05 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:29 PM


  12. pisano - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    I sure hope he’s not holding his breath until he gets the 100 mil.

    • owenpoin - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      Me too, because then he would die. Which would be sad, and he wouldn’t make any money (which I only bring up because of the general context).

  13. theeperspective - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    “Nooooooo! Rosenthal! You accidentally added an extra zero! Now everyone’s gonna think I’m stupid. 😦
    #10not100” -Ervin Santana Tweet

  14. kash71 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    I had to read the headline a few times to make sure I wasn’t having a hallucination.

  15. jayquintana - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    If you give him $100 million, what do you give Kershaw? A billion?

  16. paperlions - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Santana is going to be 31 soon. He has a career ERA- of exactly 100 (a league and park adjust stat in which 100 is average). He has been exactly a league average pitcher. He Ks an average # of hitters 7/9, and BBs an average number of hitters 2.8/9. He has been a solid mid-rotation starter, nothing more. He doesn’t have the stuff that indicates there is any more ceiling there. Giving him anything more than a few years at $14-15 per will be a bad deal because 1) pitchers break unexpectedly and 2) he’s just not that good.

    Wainwright is 1 year older than Santana and he didn’t even get $100 over 5 years….and he has been and is a FAR better pitcher.

    In short, $100M is crazy talk…and if a team gives him that…they will be rightfully derided and they will regret it.

    • stex52 - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      45MM$ over three years, club option for a fourth with a moderate payout when he breaks seems about right to me. Of course, that seems insanely high in the real world. But in the modern cash machine that is baseball I think that assesses his value competitively. He had a good 2013 and GM’s have short memories.

      • paperlions - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Yep. With the QO attached, I think that is his ceiling….should get just north of what Lohse got.

      • spudchukar - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Gimme Lohse anyday.

  17. hustleandflomax - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    I am normally of the “doesn’t hurt to ask” philosophy, but these 2 guys (Santana and Nolasco) have serious delusions of grandeur to even let THOSE numbers get out in the open. They are the very definition of “league average”, when considering their entire careers.

  18. hk62 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    At the start of every Hot Stove period, I always look for “who is going to get the contract most regretted this off season” – this year, there was only one answer I kept coming back to – E Santana. This just cements that idea.

  19. bolweevils2 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I see Nolasco as a possible fit with the Mets. (Once January comes and he’s long since given up his hopes of $80M that is)

    The Mets want an innings eater, but in the end won’t be willing to pay the cost for a good innings eater. Thus they’ll have to settle for a so-so innings eater. Enter Ricky Nolasco.

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