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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. ottawabrave91 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    So the royals get the braves first round pick, correct? or is this another unlucky deal for the royals?

    • voteforno6 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      I think that draft pick is gone…the Royals will receive a compensation pick, but it won’t be in the same slot as what the Braves would’ve had in the first round.

      • stealing3rd - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:13 AM

        Correct, teams no longer receive the other teams pick but receive a compensation pick instead, which would be after the 1st round in this case. Though not a big deal in this case as the Braves pick is 26, and the comp pick would probably be in the low 30’s.

      • karlkolchak - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:24 AM

        Yep…the comp pick will be in the low 30s and the 26th pick disappears, so the comp pick will even move up a notch. Not much of a difference at all, really.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      Atlanta loses pick #26. Boston moves up to #26. St. Louis moves up to 27. KC gets first compensation round pick which is # 28.

      The Braves keep compensation round pick #32 for McCann.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        If a team (other than Seattle) that can’t lose a first round pick, signs Morales before the June draft, then KC’s pick #28 becomes #29 and Atlanta’s #32 becomes #33.

      • thebirdsareback - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        Orioles? hmmmm

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        If Baltimore signs Morales, Seattle ends up with #28, KC gets #29 and Atlanta gets #34 for McCann.

  2. suns369 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    I’m not sure what to think of this. It eases my mind a smidge, but Santana is so erratic it scares me as well. I’m sure once we get the contract numbers we will be sick.

  3. ryanrockzzz - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Hopefully they aren’t going to get the subpar, unmotivated Santana of a few years ago.

    • icanspeel - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      I’d think with a 1 year deal he has every reason to be motivated. He will be auditioning for that multi year contract.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Considering that he did his best last year and his multi-year deal never materialized…

  4. unclemosesgreen - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    This is only a better deal for the Royals if the Braves player development make the draft pick for them.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      The Royals will have picks 17, 28, 40, 57 and 93. Of course the order might change slightly if Morales and Drew sign elsewhere before the draft. Morales is the key. There is a possibility that if Morales signs, pick number 28 could become pick number 29.

  5. suns369 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    So I guess it’s a foregone conclusion that medlen is done for the year

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Medlen, Beachy and Minor are all hurting right now, Tehran is entering his second season and none of the 5th starter candidates can be expected to throw 200 innings. They should have plenty of room for Santana even if Medlen can pitch again tomorrow.

  6. atlsportingreports - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Reblogged this on atlsportingreports.

  7. buffalo65 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    He’ll be motivated this year. $$$

  8. tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    This could be a good spot for Ervin. Even if it ends up being long term.

    Either way I’m glad we will soon stop hearing about it as one of the last remaining offseason storylines and we can start focusing more on the forthcoming season.

  9. RoyHobbs39 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    I believe you meant to say that Beachy left his start with bicepts tightness.

  10. rockthered1286 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Eh. From an O’s fan standpoint it would’ve been nice to land ES but at the same time? Our rotation isn’t exactly hurting without him. One things for sure- Bud Norris is breathing a big sigh of relief this morning as he’s 5 spot is currently safe (actually I think he may end up at 4 and Chen in 5 before the season starts).

    At least I don’t have to argue the whole “hitter friendly OPACY owns every fly ball pitcher Baltimore signs” debate anymore. Or at least for now.

    • thebirdsareback - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      Yeah rock, i hear you on that. I am glad we didnt go that route. Gonzo and Chen worry me, I am not very high on them, Norris on the other hand has more potential then both of them IMHO so I am glad he’ll continue to get the opportunity to earn his spot in the rotation. I am so excited for opening day man! Pickles is gonna be ROCKIN!

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      I really hope that Bud lights it up this year and makes everyone eat crow.

      And don’t worry, you’ll have to argue that OPACY is hitter friendly until the end of time. Didn’t you know the only reason Chris Davis hits homeruns is because of OPACY? He NEVER hits them anywhere else!

      http://m.mlb.com/video/v30583859/take-a-look-at-chris-davis-50-homers-this-year

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        Davis’s splits are righty/lefty and not due to park, so you have a point with him. However, Camden ranks in the top 10 for parks that give up a lot of homers. And it is Adam Jones that owns the place, too. Its not a great environment for a guy who allows a lot of homers. Still, its better than Toronto. Roger’s Center is a hitters paradise and a pitcher’s graveyard. Santana is better off on neither club.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        OPACY is probably in the top 15 in terms of hitters ball parks. The problem is, whenever the Orioles have a lot of home run hitters on the club and they do well, everyone says it’s a hitters ballpark. But the numbers tell a different tale when the team doesn’t have such good hitters. Visitors don’t seem to hit that much better at OPACY than anywhere else. Overall, yes it’s a hitter’s park, but only slightly above average. And no where near the amount people make it out to be. People act like OPACY is located in Colorado.

  11. chacochicken - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Supply meet demand. Or maybe panic.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Panic!

      • indaburg - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        Looking more and more like the Nats division to lose. Tough few days to be a Braves fan.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Not sure I agree indaburg. Santana is a good pitcher and likely slots right in where Medlen was and provides similar value. The bigger issue, which some have alluded to elsewhere, is what this does to the Braves’ financial flexibility. (And no, don’t just rely on “the big TV deal!” like it’ll magically fix everything.) I roughly estimate their payroll at $104m with this signing, and they’re only at 20 guys on the roster. 5 more to go. MLB minimum says the payroll will now be at least $107m roughly, and that’s almost where the Nats were last year. It limited what they were able to do when the team clearly needed to add pieces in-season to even have a chance at turning it around.

        Should be interesting. I think the Braves are still plenty good to win the East. If they don’t, they’ll still have a good record and can take anybody in a short series.

  12. proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    During free agency the Braves will have effectively traded McCann and pick #26 for I year of Santana and pick #32.

    • paperlions - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      Well, yeah, if you want to ignore the contracts.

    • thebirdsareback - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      I am just glad the Jays didnt get him!

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        Me too.

      • Old Gator - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Heh, heh…yeah, well, but you know why I’m laughing about that, right?

  13. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    As disappointed as I am to see him not sign with the O’s, I’m happy he at least is in another league. I guess in the end he was really scared to pitch in the AL East. I guess DirtyHarry decided to commit suicide by moose or whatever they do in the great north.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      A diet consisting of poutine and maple syrup are in Harry’s future. At the same time he will be serenaded by Justin Bieber and Celine Dion.

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        Somewhere a Dim Bulb is breaking all of his crayons.

      • Old Gator - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Proudly: and will be forced to work as a docent in the Anne Murray museum in Springhill.

  14. dcarroll73 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I still fondly remember the days when we referred to Ervin as “Bad Santana”. I’m just glad the Yanks didn’t sign him.

  15. realgone2 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    So I’m guessing this means Beachy has more than “tightness”……………..

  16. keltictim - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Just curious do you guys think Dr. James sees regular people anymore, or does he only see the rich and famous? I’m wondering cause I have this trick knee that used to get me out of all kinds of house hold chores and lately it hasn’t been working. I think he could really help me out.

  17. sportsdrenched - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Essentially signed for the Royals qualifying offer. Disapointed he didn’t return to the Royals, but what are you gonna do?

    Take the draft pick and cuss alot. That’s what you’re gonna do.

  18. rockthered1286 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Birdsareback- Pickles is the place to be March 31st! Myself? I’m starting in FedHill midday and crawling my way to Sliders and Pickles by first pitch.

  19. Florio_Jr. - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    $100M pitcher my ass. This dude overrated.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      I would peg his value somewhere between $100M and your ass, but much closer to your ass.

  20. emdash01 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Maybe signing one-year deals for a smaller market team with less financial flexibility will be a market inefficiency for players affected by QOs? Not sure the Braves will be in a position to want to pay him ~$15 million or so next year, and it kept Burnett from being affected as the Pirates didn’t think they could afford him at the QO number.

  21. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    I don’t think there could be a softer landing spot for a pitcher. He is pitching for a contender on a good offensive team with very good OF defense and at least adequate IF defense (Simmons and Uggla have to zero each other out, no?).

    Then he just has to pitch around Stanton, Wright and Dom Brown to win 3/4 of his division games.

    • spudchukar - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Yeah, kinda what I was thinking. It won’t be easy for him when he faces the other divisions, but the NL East, outside of trips to the Capital, should be a feast for pitchers. If a person were to pick an opportune place to play for one year, Atlanta is about the best bet.

  22. foreverchipper10 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    I had a strange feeling this was going to happen. What troubles me is that Santana is due for a disappointing year after a promising one in KC. Dude is like a see-saw.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      Well, all us Nats fans hope so.

  23. Pat Richardson - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    God, it’s like they didn’t even bother to consult my objections to signing Santana in these comments sections. What’s the point of logging in to the interwebs if you’re just going to be ignored?

    • raysfan1 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      I’m sorry, did you say something?

  24. wpjohnson - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Write it down. Dumb move by Braves. Typical from inept Wren.

    • braddavery - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      They just lost their #1 starter for the entire season. Should they have done NOTHING. Santana was pretty much the only real option.

  25. uyf1950 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    It’s probably the best decision Santana could have made as for where to pitch. Playing and pitching in the NL for the Braves works out much better for Santana then taking his services to the AL East and either the O’s or Jays. For the Braves signing Santana was almost a necessity because of the injuries to their starting rotation. Even though the cost of $14MM +/- for the Braves is probably more they they normally would spend it’s really a win win for both players this time.

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