Desperation can cause rapid changes in our best laid plans, and so it was for the Atlanta Braves, who just a week ago appeared all set with their rotation, and were nowhere near any Ervin Santana rumors.
Flash forward a few days and a couple injuries later, and Santana is a Brave.
The 31-year-old righty who started the offseason seeking a $100 million contract settles for a one-year deal worth about $14 million, according to reports. Santana helps fill the void that may have been left by Kris Medlen, who has at least a partially-torn UCL, and could miss significant time. The Braves are also dealing with a Brandon Beachy injury (biceps/elbow tightness). Getting someone was an absolute necessity at this point, even if it meant blowing out their budget for the 2014 season, as the Braves likely now have done.
That someone could have been Jeff Samardzija, as there was an uptick in Samardzija-Braves chatter over the last couple days, given the Braves’ need and previous interest in Samardzija. With Santana in the fold, the Braves are probably done adding arms, even if Beachy goes down for a lengthy period.
With Santana off the market, teams that were reportedly interested in him – the Blue Jays, the Orioles, the Mariners – could potentially come back to the Cubs about Samardzija, but it still remains likely that nothing happens on that front until midseason at the earliest. Everyone seems resigned to the idea that Samardzija will start the year with the Cubs, and the sides will see what happens over the first few months of the season. Maybe they come back together for extension talks at that point, or maybe the Cubs sell him off to the highest bidder.
Either way, we’ll see if anything new pops up now that Santana has signed.
By signing Santana, the Braves lose a late first round pick, and the Royals pick up a compensatory pick at the end of the first round. Thus, there is no net impact on the Cubs’ second round placement (had Santana signed with, for example, the Orioles or Blue Jays, the Cubs’ pick would have been bumped back by one spot).