Ervin Santana wants to sign with a strong offensive team ASAP

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Earlier, we learned that the Phillies might have checked in with free agent starter Ervin Santana. But, wait! There’s more Ervin Santana news.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is hearing from sources that Santana wants to sign a one-year deal as quickly as possible, preferably with a strong offensive team. Rosenthal adds that the Blue Jays and the Orioles fit this description. Santana is willing to sign now rather than wait which would have made him exempt from a qualifying offer for the 2014 season. That’s an important note because the qualifying offer is why he is in his current predicament.

The Phillies averaged the third-fewest runs per game in the National League last season, averaging 3.77 runs per game. They could see a slight uptick in runs with the addition of Marlon Byrd and if their core can stay healthy, but that’s a gamble. The Orioles tied for the fourth-highest RPG in the American League at 4.60, while the Jays were just slightly above the AL average at 4.40. The Mariners, another team commonly linked to Santana, averaged 3.85 runs per game last year.

Jesus Luzardo beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pitcher Jesus Luzardo became the second player in two days to beat the Miami Marlins in salary arbitration and was awarded $2.45 million.

Miami had argued for $2.1 million during a hearing Thursday before a panel of John Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch.

AL batting champion Luis Arraez, an All-Star infielder acquired by the Marlins from Minnesota last month, was awarded a $6.1 million salary on Thursday rather than the team’s $5 million figure.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo made $715,000 last season and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He can become a free agent after the 2026 season.

Players have won two of three decisions this year, with about 20 more scheduled for hearings.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first decision this year on Wednesday, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday.