Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Miss Out on Ervin Santana


The Atlanta Braves appear to have signed Ervin Santana. The Blue Jays (and their fans) miss out…again.

Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays have been following the rumor mill as it had the Blue Jays linked to just about every free agent, and then some, available. Just when fans were (begrudgingly) getting used to the idea of their team not adding a free agent pitcher, they were yanked right back into the roller coaster only to be disappointed yet again.

When news broke that Santana would be seeking a 1yr deal ASAP, Jays fans became insistent that this was the time to strike. Last Saturday, the drama began with several reports that Santana would make a decision soon. It had me glued to the computer and relaying all reports as quickly as I could. For a look at that craziness, check this outErvin Santana has pitched 9 seasons and never made fewer than 23 starts while reaching at least 30 starts 6 times. He has pitched 200 innings in a season 5 times. This is the kind of consistency the Blue Jays desperately need. If Santana can provide a full season and compile 14 or so wins, this would have been a great signing for the Blue Jays! But, alas….

From Enrique Rojas at ESPN: 

  From John Heyman at CBS Sorts:


Santana was weighing options from the Baltimore Orioles and the Blue Jays. Baltimore was offering a bit less money with incentives. The Blue Jays were offering more money but NO incentives. At least fans can take some degree of solace in knowing the Blue Jays tried…

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi

Atlanta’s Opening Day starter, Kris Medlin suffered a “right forearm strain”. They also have Brandon Beachy dealing with an elbow issue. In light of recent injuries, the Braves entered the mix for Ervin Santana.

The signing of Santana would have provided the Blue Jays with a potential rotation of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Ervin Santana, Drew Hutchison with J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, Marcus Stroman, Ricky Romero and others waiting in the wings. This would put their rotation in a much better position than it was going in to last season.

Instead, the Blue Jays are left to make up their 4th and 5th spots with their internal depth. Recent outings this spring have not exactly instilled confidence. And fans are left to lament what could have been. Let the ranting begin!

Tags: Ervin Santana Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    Oh boy… I can just imagine the comments on Facebook and the Blue Jays site lol.

    To me I am impartial to this. Part of me wanted him to come on a one year deal, part of me didn’t want the Jays to overpay. I think that Hutchinson has the capability to pitch as well, or better, than Santana this year. Call me crazy but that is what I am thinking. It would have been nice to have a pitcher like Santana as #4 so that Happ (please baseball gods don’t let this happen!) wouldn’t be our #5 starter.

    I also think this has to do more with his coming contract rather than this contract. If you want a good year so that your next contract can be a whopper, you go to the NL. And Atlanta is a pretty darn good team so their are WS implications as well. I think it was more about that than options added to the contract.

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

      Agree on all counts. It is too bad that Santana was the LAST option to improve the rotation. Maybe none of the free agent options were ideal. Neither were any of the rumored trades, for that matter. But, after talk of winning in the next 3 of 5 years, ownership being financially behind the team, etc, etc. it is very frustrating to watch nothing being done. I also do not take kindly to the comments from Beeston that fans need to get behind the team and then ownership will spend. Don’t throw that at fans. The past couple seasons have seen increased fan support ($$$) and then to suffer through an off season of inactivity is low.

      I still believe that this is the same team that was picked to win last year. They also have better pitching depth for the rotation, etc. We’ll see.

  • brad

    Man…. I just don’t see this team having the pitching it needs without signing him(would only be borderline WITH him). I think the only real hope now is that Hutchison pitches out of his mind in the first half and the offense clicks right out of the gate(so Happ doesn’t go 1-18)….. then maybe they can stay in contention till the deadline and swing a deal on a player for the stretch run. The first two months are going to decide this season I’m afraid

    • Andrew van Laar

      Or how about no Happ pitching at all ;)

      • brad

        really would be best but who do you replace him with out of the gate? Stroman needs a half season in the minors to get his in zone fastball command up to snuff and Redmond/ Rogers are really no better than Happ is. Without outside help I just can’t see a better option for the first half of the season(by then Morrow will get hurt and Stroman will already have come up to replace him)…. hopefully they bump him at the deadline but until then we may need to be Happ-y with what we got lol

        • Andrew van Laar

          To be honest, I would take Rogers over Happ in a heart beat. Happ is just terrible night in and night out. Gives up a number of runs almost every game and virtually never gets into the 7th inning. At least with Rogers you get the change for him to steal a game. He does have the ability to be lights out. I compare him a bit to Morrow in the sense that he teases us but never puts it all together.

          I don’t know… I am just tired of trotting Happ out. He has done nothing to earn a spot since we got him and I think it’s time to give someone else a shot.

          • brad

            I dunno man. I really hate Happ too…. but Rogers is just not consistent enough to be a member of a contending rotation. He pitched 7 innings exactly 2 times last year. His first 8 starts or so were pretty good but then he fell off a cliff. From July 29 onward his ERA was 6.41!!! After Happ came back he put up a 4.37 in that same period(compared to his 4.91 pre injury)…. pretty consistant really. You know exactly what you are going to get…. ish.

            It could very well be that Rogers just wasn’t stretched out enough early in the spring and maybe he is the pitcher from those first 8 starts….but I don’t see a huge upgrade here. I agree about the upside but his floor is far lower(note: the 6.41 ERA thing)

            The Jays needed a pitcher from outside the organization. In the absence of that addition, they need some luck to be competitive enough at the deadline to aqcuire one.

            Although, if they put Happ on waivers I’m sure someone would claim him and they could shed the 5 million they owe him…. and maybe swing a trade for a salary dump type pitcher for the 5 spot.

          • Andrew van Laar

            You make fair points. Maybe my utter hatred for Happ has clouded my judgement lol.

            Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Happ have an option year left? I know he did last year hence the decisions between him and Romero. If he still has an option I would send him down and let Rogers at least try to nail the job. If he fails then we take our chances DFAing him or someone else to make space. I wonder if that would work…

          • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

            Happ has 5+ years service time so can decline an outright assignment and can become a FA if he desires despite fact he does still have an option.

          • Andrew van Laar

            I approve of that idea :D

          • Andrew van Laar

            After todays game… Romero has me wondering… is he for real? I mean, he is still walking guys but hes also striking them out. And even though he is getting into jams he’s getting out. I don’t know if I should attribute that to skill or luck :|

          • brad

            People are quick to forget that Ricky Romero has walked a lot of guys his entire career. 2 walks in 4 innings is 1/4 of a walk above his career average. When he was really good his BB/9 was closer to 3 (or about 1.3 walks in 4 innings) but his command isn’t that far off. What is impressing me is his ability to induce weak ground ball contact. Ricky was never a huge K guy because he sawed people off. Saw that today and last outing. Look for him to make a push for the 5 spot if he can keep it up…. it’s the reason he has been pitching out of jams…. and the reason he always used to be so good at it. Only one hard hit ball all day

  • Jay fan since 77

    Rogers put the brakes on spending! Now AA is trying to save some face by pretending he was real serious about getting free agents. What a joke. Ever since Labatt’s was bought by the Australian cricket beer company this franchise has been in the toilet. With no hope of the owner spending money to compete we are and will always be Cleveland’s twin sister!

  • Kevin

    I say send Stroman and Hutch up to the rotation. Worse comes to worse they both get experience and next year we can have something special. This season is going to be horrible. I honestly have no faith in any of our pitching right now except MAYBE Dickey and Buehrle