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March 10, 2014 at 5:20 am ET
Hi-Stakes Game of Chicken: Ervin Santana’s Off-Season

Baltimore and Toronto are reportedly neck-and-neck in the Ervin Santana Derby.

It’s been a bumpy winter for Ervin. His agency advised him to turn down a qualifying offer of $14.1 million and test the open waters. Others who rolled the dice were Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz, both of whom signed with Baltimore for less than that. Jimenez did manage a four-year deal worth $50 million, but Cruz settled for one year at $8 million.

But Santana and his agent, who’s now going it alone, continue their game of chicken with the owners. And it looks like it might pay off.

The O’s are offering a year at $13 million, plus incentives. The Jays are offering $14 million, without incentives. Pretty similar offers, really. So, where would Ervin rather pitch?

For a guy like Santana, who gives up a lot of homers, Toronto might be a better fit than Baltimore. Longballs fly out of Camden Yards. Plus, Santana is said to have lots of pals on the Jays, including Jose Bautista, with whom he shares a now-rogue agent.

Of course, Toronto is still Toronto. Late-night customs visits at the end of every road swing, higher taxes, terrible ballpark, John Gibbons. If Santana’s looking for a shot at shining on the post-season stage, he’s better off in Baltimore.

Before Santana’s agent, Jay Alou, bolted from the Proformance Agency – which, really, ought to be DQ’d for its lame name – his demand was for a multi-year deal. When it became apparent they all bet on the wrong horse, Santana and Alou defected from Proformance and changed their demand to a one-year deal.

Which is when the Twins got interested and offered … a three-year deal at between $30 million and $33 million  – a total Santana could nearly reach in two seasons with Baltimore or Toronto, since he’d be due another qualfiying offer.

Which, if he turned down, would start this circus all over again.

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2 Responses to “Hi-Stakes Game of Chicken: Ervin Santana’s Off-Season”
  1. coledog says:

    I have an inkling that Johann would/will be the better Santana in Baltimore. (Someone get Carlos on the phone.)
    It’s not my money, but Ervin has an ERA over 6 in CY. No thanks.

  2. Donny says:

    Glad he signed with Atlanta.
    Not in love with his splits against the AL east and HR numbers…and he’d pitch half his games a OPACY on warm evenings.
    Worst case scenario- Ponsonesque.
    I don’t know that he’d be worth the $$$ for the O’s, but of course he would have killed us if he signed with Toronto……..becuase Orioles.
    This way we can use the $$$ to get JJ signed and Toronto doesn’t get any better.

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