Free agent Santana reportedly nearing deal
Blue Jays appear to be favorites to land righty, who is awaiting offer from O's
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It appears Ervin Santana's willingness to lower his asking price has pushed him closer to signing with a new team, and it seems the Blue Jays and Orioles are currently the favorites to land the veteran right-hander.
ESPN Deportes first reported Saturday that Santana, the top remaining free-agent pitcher on the market, agreed to a one-year deal worth about $14 million with the Blue Jays, but Santana and his representatives had set a 5 p.m. ET deadline for a better offer from the Orioles before accepting Toronto's offer.
According to FOX Sports, however, Santana has set no such deadline and is willing to wait before deciding to sign with a new team.
An industry source said Saturday that Santana had drawn interest from Toronto and at least one other team, but there were still some things to iron out. According to The Baltimore Sun, Santana received similar offers from the Blue Jays and Orioles, with Toronto's proposal considered more attractive.
The Blue Jays haven't commented on any of Saturday's reports, but with two spots in their rotation up for grabs, it makes sense that they would be interested in Santana at a discounted price. FOX Sports reported on Friday night that Santana was hoping to sign a one-year deal with a strong offensive team as soon as possible. The Blue Jays, Orioles, Rangers, Mariners and Royals had all been mentioned at various points as potential landing spots for the 31-year-old right-hander, who went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 211 innings for Kansas City last season.
Santana turned down the Royals' one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer in November, so if he signs with another club, that team will forfeit a Draft pick and the Royals will receive an extra pick in the Draft's compensatory round between the first and second rounds. The Blue Jays' first-round pick in June's First-Year Player Draft is protected, and they actually have two first-rounders this year after not signing top pick Phil Bickford in 2013. So, if Toronto does reach an agreement with Santana, the club will only have to forfeit a second-round pick.
If the Orioles were to sign Santana, they would have to give up their third-round Draft pick.