Blue Jays (Trying to) Sign Ervin Santana – One Year, $14MM

4:08pm: FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets that a source tells him that Santana could wait “days” before signing. 4:00 has come and gone, and there’s no news about his decision.

12:08pm: Rojas writes (Spanish-language) that Santana is deciding between the Jays, who have offered $14MM, and the Orioles, who have offered $13MM plus incentives.

11:43am: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes tweets that Santana will sign with the Jays for $14MM by 4:00pm if he does not receive a better offer by then.

*UPDATE* The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets.

10:53am: The Blue Jays are “optimistic” about landing Santana, although they have not yet reached an agreement with him, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets.

It took this relatively big news to awaken a lazy blogger from his slumber?

When a guy like Ervin Santana can basically become our top pitcher it is slightly disconcerting but the reality is he likely would be our top pitcher in terms of WAR for 2014.

The rumor mill is in high gear this Saturday morning with multiple reliable sources reporting that the top remaining free agent starting pitcher is now seeking only a one year pact and the Toronto Blue Jays are one of the finalists for his services.

He is said to be looking for around $14MM on a one year deal as the off-season has been a bust for Santana’s representatives hoping to lock-in a multi-year contract.

Here is how Ervin Santana would stack up against the rest of the Blue Jays rotation hopefuls based on 2014 ZIPS projections:

ZIPS IP H HR BB K ERA WHIP WAR
E.Santana 185.0 184 27 55 147 4.26 1.29 1.7
R.A. Dickey 195.0 186 27 56 162 4.00 1.24 2.6
M.Buehrle 168.0 181 23 39 110 4.32 1.30 1.7
B.Morrow 125.0 113 15 39 137 3.87 1.29 2.2
J.A. Happ 125.0 124 17 56 112 4.68 1.44 1.4
T.Redmond 119.0 132 25 41 91 5.49 1.45 0.0

Well that is depressing.  Those are some hideous projections and while they are only best statistical estimates of past performance it is not an encouraging sign for the 2014 season.  Would Ervin Santana help?  Clearly.  Will Ervin Santana make the Blue Jays a contender?  Not even close.

I’m ambiguous on adding Ervin Santana.  As a fan I’d rather see a decent pitcher than a terrible one but if we aren’t going to contend and are instead looking ahead to 2015 (and beyond) why not give some of our younger arms a chance to show their skills in the bigs all season?

Might as well let Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin strut their stuff and work on building some confidence and at the very least give them more big league experience.

On the the other hand we could sign Ervin Santana for a three month showcase and deal him to a contender at the deadline.  If we could add a prospect who would project to be more valuable than the #50 overall selection we would forfeit (to sign Santana) that could end up as a net gain.

If he pitches well again the Blue Jays will surely offer him compensation and possibly gain a better draft pick in the process.  The more I write and the more I think about it the downside here is fairly minimal.  Make it happen AA!

What do you think?

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