The Blue Jays were reported to have made an offer to Ervin Santana before he signed with the Braves. Ken Rosenthal reports, however, that the team’s players were way more gung-ho to get Santana to come to Toronto than Jays brass was. Indeed, multiple players even offered to defer salary in order to make it work under the team’s payroll. What’s more:
Before that, the Jays’ Dominican players had staged a fervent recruiting effort for Santana, who is from La Romana, Dominican Republic. At one point, the players texted a photo to Santana’s cell phone, according to a source. The photo was of the players holding a sign that said, “Come to Toronto.”
Rosenthal notes that the salary deferral offer is more significant in that it suggests that team’s ownership has imposed a budget against which the team is already bumping. And suggests that if the Jays aren’t in contention this year that they could hold a fire sale. Given the high-priced talent on that team, it could be a pretty big one if it comes to pass.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.