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February 26, 2014

Rumor Roundup

What Ervin is Asking

by Daniel Rathman


Ervin Santana’s asking price still four years, $50 million
The calendar will soon read March, and Opening Day is fast approaching, but Ervin Santana is holding firm to his demands. According to executives who spoke with CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the right-hander wants $50 million over four years. Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Ubaldo Jimenez got roughly that guarantee—so, in the minds of Santana and his agent, Bean Stringfellow, the former Royal deserves the same.

Assuming the qualified free agents’ price tags were the same when the Orioles chose Jimenez over Santana, it appears that Dan Duquette preferred upside to stability. A second factor might have been the Orioles’ hitter-friendly ballpark, for which Jimenez—whose strikeout rate (25 percent) far outpaced Santana’s (18.7 percent)—is a better fit. Jimenez was a ground-ball pitcher earlier in his career but has trended toward fly balls during the past few seasons; conversely, Santana has a fly-ball résumé with a recent shift toward grounders, and his 46.2 percent worm-killer rate in 2013 marked a career high.

The Orioles may yet add Santana to their offseason haul if Duquette finds enough wiggle room in his budget, though it’s unclear whether they would be willing to make another four-year commitment to a pitcher who seemingly was not their first choice. However, manager Buck Showalter’s rotation appears to be set with Jimenez, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, and Wei-Yin Chen, with Kevin Gausman waiting in the wings. Fellow first-rounder Dylan Bundy is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and two other prospects, Eduardo Rodriguez and Mike Wright, could arrive later in the year.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Starting ... (02/26)
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