As D.J. Short wrote earlier, free agent starter Ervin Santana is drawing interest from several teams including the Orioles and Rangers. But as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports, the right-hander says he would rather sit out until June — draft pick compensation disappears after the draft — than take a deal similar to the one-year, $8 million contract outfielder Nelson Cruz signed with the Orioles earlier today. The $8 million Cruz will be paid is significantly lower than the $14.1 million qualifying offer he rejected from the Rangers in November.
The compensation system has drawn some criticism lately. Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew thinks the system needs tweaking. Tony Clark, head of the MLBPA, said that it “is a concern” adding that this situation would be a “topic of discussion”. It is unlikely any significant changes will be made until the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2016 season.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.