Blue Jays scout Ervin Santana’s start amid rumoured interest

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Jul 31, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) throws to the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) throws to the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays reportedly scouted Ervin Santana in his start today

According to Mike Berardino of Minnesota’s Pioneer Press, the Blue Jays were scouting Ervin Santana for his outing this afternoon against the Chicago White Sox.

Santana had an impressive start leading the Twins to a win. He threw six innings, allowed one earned run, struck out five, walked two and allowed 6 hits. Santana’s been on an impressive streak over his past eight starts posting a 1.96 ERA.

For the season Santana has posted some solid numbers, especially considering that he’s been playing on a dreadful team. A quick look at his numbers: 3.78 ERA, 114.1 IP, 3.98 FIP, 1.242 WHIP, 1.0 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 6.3 K/9.

Russ Bove’s presence at the game gives some weight to Jon Morosi’s report of Toronto’s interest in Ervin.

Of course, this could just be due diligence on the part of the Blue Jays. In some ways, Santana doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Jays but there are factors in his favour.

Firstly, Santana is not a rental. His contract carries him for at least two more seasons at $13,500,000 per with a team option for 2019 ($14M Team Option, $1M Buyout option may vest depending on IP in 2017 & 2018).

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With RA Dickey becoming a free agent next season, Santana could fill his rotation spot and at a similar salary. Santana, like Dickey, has been quite an innings eater (when he’s not being suspended for PED use). However, the Jays have much cheaper internal starter options available for next season. Would Santana be significantly better than Drew Hutchison?

Do the Jays want to commit $28 million to a starter when there will be plenty of other holes to fill going into 2017?

If they were willing to utilize the cash this way, are they further willing to pay the prospect price Minnesota will ask? The Twins won’t let him go cheaply. They need a dependable rotation leader to guide their upcoming youngsters in the season to come anyways. The Twins have tight budget constraints so don’t expect them to kick in any cash either and if they were kicking in cash, the prospect cost would increase as well.

As always at this time of year, there could be something to it but more likely, just the organization checking in on a possibility.

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