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The Braves to sign Ervin Santana to a one-year deal, announcement coming this morning

Mar 12, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT

ervin santana getty Getty Images

Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Atlanta Braves are completing a deal with Ervin Santana. Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that an announcement by the team is scheduled for later this morning. Multiple reporters are saying it’s a one-year deal, though the money has not yet been revealed. UPDATE: It’s a one-year, $14.1 million deal.

The deal is the product of a disastrous couple of days for Atlanta’s starting pitchers, with both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy leaving starts early. Medlen has been diagnosed with some amount of ligament damage and will soon consult with Dr. James Andrews. A second Tommy John surgery for the Braves’ would-be Opening Day starter is a distinct possibility. Beachy left a start the other day with biceps tightness. While he has downplayed the seriousness of the injury, he himself is not too far removed from Tommy John surgery, and has experienced diminished velocity this spring.

For Santana, signing with the Braves represents the end of a long, frustrating offseason. Following one of his best seasons, posting a 3.24 ERA for the Kansas City Royals last year, Santana expected to hit it big on the free agent market. The suitors did not come calling, however, leaving Santana unemployed until now. In recent days there has been talk of the Blue Jays or signing with the Orioles, but it was clearly a buyer’s market given how far along the spring already is. The starting pitching needs of the Braves came at quite an opportune time for Santana.

But the one year deal is interesting. While it may represent Santana’s best chance to make the most money in 2014 — and to play for a team expected to contend — there’s every reason to believe that, if he has a good year this year, he’ll find himself in the same position he was in this past offseason: a free agent with a qualifying offer and draft pick attached to him.

But I suppose that beats not having a job.

  1. jkaflagg - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    For a team that has playoff aspirations, yielding a low #1 pick for a season of (hopefully) competent starting pitching is a reasonable trade off. For Santana the Atlanta pitching injuries were a godsend…..instead of going to a low level AL East team where his flyball tendencies would troublesome, he goes to a contender in the non-DH National League where he can burnish his reputation for another free agent opportunity next year.

    Much like Lohse last year, a good pitcher will likely find a landing spot somewhere due to injuries; Lohse was unfortunate that he got stuck in Milwaukee rather than with a contender. It might be tougher for Morales or Drew to find a spot barring an injury.

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