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Orioles, Blue Jays among teams considering adding Ervin Santana

Feb 9, 2014, 10:06 PM EDT

ervin santana getty Getty Images

Orioles pitchers and catchers report on Thursday; Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report on Sunday. No one knows if free agent starter Ervin Santana will have a new home by then, but Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the O’s and Jays have had discussions with Santana’s representatives at Proformance Baseball.

Santana remains unsigned into February in part because he is tied to draft pick compensation. The Orioles would have to surrender their first round pick, 17th overall, in order to sign the right-hander. The Jays’ two first round picks (9th and 11th) are protected, so they would have to give up their second round pick (49th).

Santana, 31, was one of baseball’s most effective starters last year with the Royals, finishing the season with a 3.24 ERA in 211 innings. However, he has been Jekyll & Hyde over his career, finishing with a sub-3.50 ERA three times and with an ERA above 5.00 three times. PECOTA, the projection system created by Baseball Prospectus, sees Santana posting a 4.25 ERA in 2014.

  1. uyf1950 - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    If Santana has suffered any real or imaginary injuries at all in the several years he can forget about passing the O’s physical.

  2. cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Dear Dog Almighty, no. He’ll get murdered pitching half his games in Skydome. Not to mention the other tiny parks in the AL Beast. Last season he relied heavily on defence behind him and The Beaver Wrestlers just don’t have a good skill set to save him. Or rather, without Jose Reyes they don’t. If by some miracle Reyes can stay healthy, they might be ok but I’d rather not take the chance. Its not like Reyes has a track record of durability, is it?

    Jiminez is a better bet: he more than got by without needing good D in Cleveland. I hope Santana goes to the Orioles. Camden will eat his lunch and My Boys will be the direct beneficiaries.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Mike Wilner who is on the radio broadcast team for the Jays says that the team is not going to sign Santana. The Jays have done their homework and have decided to pass.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        So let me get this straight, a guy who is a radio broadcaster for the jays said the team won’t sign him. How the hell would he know? You think the jays front office lets him in on such decisions? Where do you come up with this BS stuff? Just make it up as you go along? Let me put it to you this way, the jays “need” this guy and for lots of years too, he can be the face of the franchise!

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        Have a nice day Herbie.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Hi Harold. I have just the woman for you. Irene Wust won a speed skating gold for Holland, defeating the Russian favourite. Later at a party, she ran into Putin and gave him a “cuddle”. Afterwards, she told everyone that she was gay. She sounds like the perfect woman for you.

      • cur'68 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Whew! Thank YOU, PC. This news removes a cloud from my horizon today.

        Lord knows I hope the D is better this season (with the removal of Bonifacio’s Hands Of Cement, it should be) but this is no time to be taking chances (much less a 3 year chance) on a guy who gets hit as hard and as often as Santana.

        Ubaldo is a different cat. He was a SO machine in Cleveland with a terrible defence behind him. In spite of his guys booting the ball around, he still put up good numbers. While he wasn’t consistently good, his 2nd half was much better than his first, a trend I tend to like. If AA MUST get a FA and lose a pick then it better be Ubaldo. Max of 3 years, though. In fact, for preference, 2 years would be best for the club. I sincerely doubt Jiminez signs for that, but if he has no other options, he might bite for 3 years with a mutual option on the 3rd.

        Here’s hoping.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        A pitcher to watch in spring training is Dustin McGowan. He is healthy and wants to be a starter.

      • cur'68 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Can his shoulder withstand his delivery, though? He throws hard, has wicked breaking stuff, and seems to land on a stiff left leg with his foot closed to the catcher. Thats a pretty hard delivery on the arm. I haven’t seen him throw in a while, so I don’t know if he’s doing anything different, but I’d have thought that after all his troubles he’d stay in the BP where he’s had more success.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        We will see.

  3. mmeyer3387 - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    I’m not sure if he is worth a big contract. I know that he had a good year last season, just not sure about him. On the other hand,at least he has been healthy and is not over the hill.

  4. cackalackyank - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    My feeling is he is going to wind up with one of those two. Should be interesting to see if he can keep his ERA under six in the AL east.

  5. rockthered1286 - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Let me just stop you there- he’s will not be sporting an Orioles jersey in 2014. Have we not learned yet? Class is in session! Here’s the basic guidelines of the Peter Angelos school of running an MLB franchise:

    1. Claim that you will focus on building your farm system and utilizing that talent as it grows as means of filling your major league roster.
    2. Accomplish a rare feat of having consistently high draft picks every year, while having very few picks reach the majors and only a handful materialize into everyday players (outside of Markakis, Weiters, Machado- name me one O’s draft pick that is an everyday player currently. Go on, I’ll wait). Essentially having one of the worst minor league systems in the majors.
    3. Claim that you will be very active in free agency… then 2 months later after the market has run dry, claim that you never said that.
    4. Keep repeating “right player, right price” while using the market values of 1995 as a guideline.
    5. Hide in the shadows and let your head coach and VP of Ops take all of the media scorn and hits while you silently continue collecting money from hopeful fans who keep getting snowed thinking things will change.

    So how does this apply to Santana? Angelos will not let Duke spend. PERIOD. And they don’t shut up about their farm system, which again, is abysmal. Take away Bundy, Gausman and Rodriguez. What’s left? Scrubs. Our next best in the minors in 2013 was LJ Hoes and Xavier Avery- Avery went to Seattle for Michael Morse (no longer with the club), and Hoes went to Houston for Chunk Norris. We have no pieces in the minors and it will be a long time before we can reload, but Angelos and Duke would rather bring up cheap, lesser talents that doesn’t necessarily belong in the majors, as opposed to spending in FA.

    Unfortunately, this plays out one of two ways- we either stick with what we have and start falling off back into sub-500 seasons and back to high draft picks OR… and I hate to think this… Duke will start auctioning off our big names to obtain highly touted prospects from other teams. Dishing off Wieters, Davis, maybe Hardy. Scary thought but I have a gut feeling this will end up happening sooner or later.

    • Alex K - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      One thing about this…if you take the top 3 out of any system it will look significantly worse. Keith Law recently ranked the O’s as #10, so not eveyone thinks the farm system is awful.

      Just trying to raise your spirits on a Monday.

      • rockthered1286 - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Interesting… I’d love to see how he rates some of the mid-tier guys. I guess Harvey has high hopes right now as well, and Schoop who may get a shot at the big boy team depending on which Flaherty we see this year. I think I’m still bitter with this process:

        -trade Hoes (LF) and Avery (LF)
        -watch McLouth walk (LF) in FA
        -put our hopes in Lough and oft-injured Reimold for LF in 2014.

        Although speculation is that Lough is pretty solid, a better fielder than Nate ever was, and has the speed to match… I still cannot fathom the thought process of letting 2 LF prospects go for rentals last year, knowing you weren’t bringing back your starting LF and had no backup plan.

  6. thebirdsareback - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    I cant see the Orioles doing this, but who know. Id take AJ and Ervin together for the veteran leadership. But i just don’t see Ervin in bmore. AJ possibly.

  7. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Is there any point where the compensatory draft pick falls off and the player can be signed without giving up a pick? It would seem to me that in order for a compensatory system to work properly, the original team would have to be making a fair effort to sign the player, but often they drop the pick on the player and then never make any effort to resign. Almost like a “I have no interest in this guy, but I don’t want anyone else to have him either.” What happens if the season starts and this guy doesn’t have a job? Can he retroactively take the original Royals offer? Will the MLBPA jump up and down saying this compensatory pick caused an unfair hardness and prevented him from getting work? Surely he would have been signed if not for the loss of a 1st round draft pick. Seems to me the system still needs some tweaking.

    • stex52 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I believe the draft pick goes away after the next amateur draft. But that, of course, is while the season is in full swing. So it’s a problem for the player.

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    This would be a “perfect” signing for the bluejays, I would like to see say 7 years for 120MIL maybe? The only bad thing is we are talking about the bluejays here and I don’t see them coming up with the money to sign this guy but god if you see it in your heart please send AA a winning lottery ticket for 120 so they sign this guy asap!

    • kcrobert10 - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Wow 7 yrs 120. Whew I’d take him back here in kc but its more like 3 yrs 50 million.

    • nbjays - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Harry, as much as I wouldn’t want to wish misfortune on any of the other Yankee faithful on this board, or on Tanaka, you are the sole reason I’d love to see him end up as Dice-K 2.0…. just to see you gobbling crow when the very thing you keep wishing on the Jays happens to the Yankees.

  9. garybrian - Feb 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Blue Jays can’t sign their draft picks anyway, so what’s the big deal with their picks. They need one maybe two starters, so grab one while you can or else this coming year will look a lot like last year!

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