Santana signed with the Braves this offseason as it had been highly rumoured he would land in Toronto. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal reported earlier that the Toronto Blue Jays players wanted SP Ervin Santana so badly that they were willing to defer upfront money to acquire Santana’s services. Apparently, that’s where the conversation ended, according to Rosenthal’s MLB sources.
Eventually, when Atlanta Braves starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy were lost for the year within days of each other, Santana’s services were requested. The 31 year old righthander would sign a 1 yr/$14M deal with the Braves and with it, end the Blue Jays fans offseason hopes of upgrading their pitching staff via free agency.
Perhaps the bigger, underlying story is that the Jays players felt the need to give up money to acquire Santana. It had long been rumoured that it’s possible Rogers Communications, the team owner of the Toronto Blue Jays, pulled the reins on the spending after last season’s splurge saw the Jays payroll shoot up from about $84M to just over $119M. With the money spent to acquire veterans such as Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey, and Mark Buehrle in 2013, the Blue Jays only managed to win one more game (74) than the previous season. That most likely did not sit well with ownership.
If this report holds merit, it comes in stark contrast to Jays President Paul Beeston saying the Jays and Rogers Communication are “all in” with their commitment to winning at the State of the Franchise.
When Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was approached about this issue by reporters, he declined comment. This is no real surprise considering that Jays management has been treating the media and its fans like mushrooms all winter, keeping them in the dark and feed them nothing but excrement.
As noted by many offseason magazines and pundits, the biggest upgrade to the Blue Jays roster was catcher, Dioner Navarro, who came cheap at 2 yrs/$8M. The rest of the moves by AA have been waiver claims and maneuvering of the DL, such as bringing back pitchers Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison. AA also banked on Marcus Stroman being ready for to make an immediate impact on the Jays staff, but Stroman struggled a bit during Spring Training and was sent to AAA Buffalo.
Stay tuned Jays fans, as I’m sure this story is bound to explored further.