Royals will make qualifying offer to Ervin Santana

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No surprise, but general manager Dayton Moore confirmed to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the Royals will make a qualifying offer to free agent Ervin Santana.

Santana will reject the offer because it’s essentially a one-year, $14 million deal and he can surely get plenty of multi-year deals on the open market, but this way the Royals will be in line for draft pick compensation if he ends up signing elsewhere.

Santana improved his stock more than any other impending free agent this season, going from quasi-salary dump by the Angels to throwing 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA. And both Santana and the Royals seem open to working out a new deal, although that might change once the bidding starts.

Report: Chris Tillman will decide on a team this week

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Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.

Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.

While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.