The Blue Jays have declined the option and bought out reliever Sergio Santos in a move that surprises no one. According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays will pay the $750K to not have Santos come back to the club. Imagine being paid 3/4 of a million dollars to NOT work for your boss. Anyway…
This move will not come as a shock to Blue Jays fans. We have witnessed the collapse of a guy who was supposed to be our lockdown closer. At least that was the plan when the Blue Jays traded with the White Sox for him. The reality is that he’s been hurt more than healthy. Initially, in 2013, his tricep strain turned out to be more and required surgery to remove bone spurs and chips from his elbow. This after needing major shoulder surgery in 2012. And, when healthy, he hasn’t been effective anyway. Take a look:
Year Tm W L ERA G GF SV IP H R ER BB SO WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 2012 TOR 0 1 9.00 6 4 2 5.0 6 5 5 4 4 2.000 10.8 1.8 7.2 7.2 2013 TOR 1 1 1.75 29 6 1 25.2 11 5 5 4 28 0.584 3.9 0.4 1.4 9.8 2014 TOR 0 3 8.57 26 14 5 21.0 28 22 20 18 29 2.190 12.0 2.1 7.7 12.4
And, in the minors, on his many rehab assignments where the competition isn’t as stiff, it is not much better.
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The Diamondbacks originally drafted Santos as a short stop in 2002 and he came to the Blue Jays in the Troy Glaus trade in 2005. After bouncing around Minnesota, Chicago and San Francisco, the White Sox brought him back and converted him to a pitcher. His arm was tantalizing. His upper 90s fastball and slider were supposed to be a lethal combination. His strike out rates are still quite appealing. But, it is as if he no longer is able to find the strike zone.
Unfortunately for Sergio Santos, it has not worked out that way. If he catches on with any club in 2015, he may be looking at a minor league deal as his stock is not very high right now. The Blue Jays have made improving the bullpen an area of focus this off season. Obviously removing Santos as a possibility creates one more opening at the higher levels of the ladder. It is exciting to think about the young arms that could chip in to rejuvenate the ‘pen. It is just as exciting to follow along this winter to see who will be brought in as Alex Anthopoulos attempts to right the ship.