According to Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, right-handed pitcher Ervin Santana, who has recently agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, had no interest in signing with an American League club. John Lott of the National Post shared comments made by AA earlier this morning on SN Fan 590.
AA on @globlair show: "From what I was told, we couldn’t compete with the NL … It was not money, it was not years"
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) March 12, 2014
I slept in this morning so I haven’t yet heard the full interview. It does make sense that Santana would be looking to increase his value in the by moving to the pitcher-friendly National League. However when Anthopoulos says it wasn’t about money, I don’t necessarily buy that.
The Braves reportedly offered $14.1 million to Santana on a one-year deal. Can we really believe the Blue Jays were willing to better that offer by the Braves? Based on what we’ve witnessed this off-season, not to mention that the Jays would actually have to pay more gross dollars to make the net money for Santana the same, it’s doubtful.
The Blue Jays could have avoided missing out on Santana by either signing him earlier or upping their offer. Clearly, neither happened. Someone brought up a good point in the comments section earlier this week, if the Jays signed Santana they wouldn’t be able to make any other moves once the season begins.
But as we all know from last year, the first month of the season is crucial. Sure you can’t win the division in the first month of the season but you certainly can lose it. And adding another player through the trade market likely means parting with one of the Jays’ few assets of value.
I still feel like the Santana situation was the best way for the Blue Jays to get better for 2014 while not losing anything but a few extra dollars. Clearly, the Jays’ front office does not feel the same way.