Blue Jays player really, really wanted to get Ervin Santana to come to Toronto

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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.

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.