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Blue Jays player really, really wanted to get Ervin Santana to come to Toronto

Apr 4, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.03.00 AM AP

The Blue Jays were reported to have made an offer to Ervin Santana before he signed with the Braves. Ken Rosenthal reports, however, that the team’s players were way more gung-ho to get Santana to come to Toronto than Jays brass was. Indeed, multiple players even offered to defer salary in order to make it work under the team’s payroll. What’s more:

Before that, the Jays’ Dominican players had staged a fervent recruiting effort for Santana, who is from La Romana, Dominican Republic. At one point, the players texted a photo to Santana’s cell phone, according to a source. The photo was of the players holding a sign that said, “Come to Toronto.”

Rosenthal notes that the salary deferral offer is more significant in that it suggests that team’s ownership has imposed a budget against which the team is already bumping. And suggests that if the Jays aren’t in contention this year that they could hold a fire sale. Given the high-priced talent on that team, it could be a pretty big one if it comes to pass.

  1. chill1184 - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM


    • renaado - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I find this pretty cool 😀.

  2. Ben - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

  3. proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Craig’s conclusion is a tad off. Yes many players wanted Santana; however, he has his limitations and some people suspect that he is a strong candidate for Tommy John surgery. Furthermore, Santana really did not want to pitch in the AL East. Once the Atlanta job opening occurred, Santana jumped at the chance to pitch in the NL East rather than the AL East. The money being offered by the Jays and the Braves was similar.

    The Jays do have some pitching prospects that they expect to be MLB ready very soon. Sanchez was their best pitcher this spring; however the 21 year old was sent to the minors for more seasoning. Marcus Stroman is also thought to be a call up prospect this summer.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      I am not trying to imply that Santana is too “chicken” to pitch in the AL East. I do think that he was afraid that pitching in the AL East would have a negative impact on his ERA that would affect his next contract.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      If he’s a strong candidate for UCL replacement surgery, Atlanta’s the place to be!

      • renaado - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        No way man.. Just no freakin way…

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        Atlanta has significant problems this season.

      • renaado - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        “I STILL BELIEVE”. Win or Lose I still support em.

      • aresachaela - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        I hope your heart will still beat when the regular season ends Ren cause the Yankees will win it all this season :-).

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Could there be a better destination than Atlanta for a one-year pillow contract? Strong offense, excellent defense, an HR suppressing park, a lock-down closer and weak offenses on most division rivals. Toronto is pretty much the opposite of all of those things.

    Atlanta could help Ervin to win 18 games with a sub-3 ERA this season before hitting the market again, if everything breaks just right.

    • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      A lot would have to break right. He’s never had an ERA under 3.00 and he’s spent his entire career in pitcher’s parks already.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Hey, he had a 3.24 ERA last year in the AL. replace every 9th AB with a K or a sac bunt and he could be there. I’m not putting money on it as the most likely outcome, but it is certainly in the realm of the possible.

      • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        True, but if you think about, he had all the same things in KC. Great pitcher’s park, great defense and a lights out closer.

      • geoknows - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Where in the world do people get the idea that Kauffman Stadium is a pitcher’s park? It isn’t. True, it suppresses home runs more than most, but it’s a great place for average, doubles, and triples. Overall park factors tend to run at about 102, which makes it a slight hitter’s park.

        I agree with your other two points, however: great defense and a lights-out closer.

      • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        I get it from Baseball Prospectus, who I trust.

        Three year park factors:

        Runs – 100
        HR/RH – 79
        HR/LR – 87
        Runs/RH – 97
        Runs/LH 103

        Neutral at best and a good place for a pitcher who gives up a lot of home runs, like Santana did in 2012, to right himself.

  5. mikhelb - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    i can almost be sure that it was an idea by Melky Cabrera, he is a good pal of Earvin.

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