Rosenthal: Ervin Santana now looking for one-year deal, wants to sign as soon as possible
MAR 07, 2014 7:31p ET
Free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana is now seeking a one-year deal, and wants to sign with a new team as quickly as possible, according to major-league sources.
Santana, 31, intends to join a strong offensive club, sources say. Both the Blue Jays and Orioles fit that description and have shown interest.
Any team that signs Santana will lose a draft pick; the Royals made the pitcher a $14.1 million qualifying offer at the end of last season, subjecting him to such compensation.
Both the Jays and Orioles, however, are uniquely positioned to add a compensation free agent. Both of the Jays’ first-round choices are protected, and the Orioles already have forfeited top picks by signing right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and outfielder Nelson Cruz. The Jays would forfeit the 50th overall choice for signing Santana, the Orioles the 91st.
Santana, sources say, is unwilling to wait on a one-year deal, even though he would be exempt from a qualifying offer next offseason if he signs after Opening Day. His desire is to get into camp quickly and be ready for the start of the season.
Unlike free-agent right-handers Jimenez, Matt Garza and Ricky Nolasco, who all landed contracts in the four-year, $50 million range, Santana has yet to receive a multi-year proposal that he deems acceptable.
With a one-year deal, his goal would be to put together a second consecutive strong season and end lingering questions about his health. The Los Angeles Times reported in March 2009 that the pitcher had a sprained UCL in his elbow.
Santana was examined independently by Dr. James Andrews on Oct. 28 and had MRIs performed on both his elbow and shoulder. Andrews, according to Santana’s agents, said the elbow was “completely healed.”
Santana’s last trip to the DL ended on July 3, 2009. Since then, only Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, James Shields and Clayton Kershaw have thrown more innings without logging DL time. But some in the industry continue to question the condition of Santana’s elbow.
Amid Santana’s push for a new deal, his representation is unsettled. He no longer is working with Bean Stringfellow of Proformance, but continues to be represented by another agent from that company, Jay Alou, sources say.