For the second straight offseason Ervin Santana will hit the open market after turning down a qualifying offer, this time declining $15.3 million from the Braves.
Last offseason Santana did the same with a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals and then realized the draft pick compensation hurt his market value to the point that he signed with the Braves for the exact same $14.1 million figure.
Last time around Santana was coming off a season in which he threw 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA in the American League. This time around he’s a free agent after throwing 196 innings with a 3.95 ERA in the National League.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.