The hot stove is still simmering a bit, and there are a handful of free agents who remain unsigned. After Masahiro Tanaka‘s signing with the New York Yankees, the rest of the free agent pitchers looking for a new team can now start slotting into rotations around the league. The Dodgers have been linked to a few of these free agent hurlers this winter including Bronson Arroyo and more recently Ervin Santana. While the Dodgers do not necessarily need another starting pitcher, after last season’s injury debacle where they were forced to use Matt Magill and Stephen Fife early in the season despite going into the Spring with extra arms, the Dodgers may be kicking around the idea of picking up one of these pitchers.
By signing someone like Ervin Santana, the Dodgers would lose out on a draft pick, and that right there is a deal breaker for me. The Dodgers have hung on to their top prospects this offseason, and I don’t see them forgoing an opportunity to further bolster the farm system by giving up the draft pick. Ervin Santana is just not worth it in my opinion, and I think with as many as eight teams interested in the right-hander (according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish), Santana won’t have a problem finding a suitor before Spring comes around.
Reportedly the Dodgers, Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, and Yankees have all shown interest in Santana. The Marlins and Cubs have also inquired about him. Even the Blue Jays, D-backs, Royals, and Tigers could jump into the Santana foray.
Toronto seems to be highly interested in picking up a starter this offseason, and either Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez could be a good fit. The Cubs, like the Dodgers, would lose a draft pick if they should sign Santana so Chicago seems like an unlikely landing spot. Santana refused the Royals’ qualifying offer at the start of the offseason thus costing a signing team a draft pick.
Milwaukee just signed Matt Garza to a four-year $50 million deal which could lower the cost of signing Santana who is reportedly asking for a deal around four years and $60 million.
As of a week ago, Ervin Santana still was seeking a four-year deal in the $60M range. Chances of him getting anything close growing slimmer.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 23, 2014
The 31-year old Santana has pitched exclusively in the American League over his nine-year Major League career. He spent most of his career with the Angels, but pitched for Kansas City last season. Santana’s best season was back in 2008 with the Angels when he was selected to the All-Star team after going 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 214 strikeouts over 219 innings. Last season for the Royals, Santana pitched 211 innings while finishing the season with a 9-10 record, 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts.
Santana has started two games at Dodger Stadium in his career, and he is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA over those 11 innings. While Santana is not a spectacular pitcher, he will be a great addition to a rotation and solid inning eater. I see Santana as a great fit for the Blue Jays, but not so much for the Dodgers since they would lose a precious draft pick. I’m still on Team Zach Lee, and I think the Dodgers should give the youngster a shot to break into the rotation this season should Josh Beckett falter.