The Ervin Santana saga is reaching its conclusion.
According to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes, Santana will sign a one-year, $14 million contract with an American League team. This report comes less than 24 hours after Soldevila passed along word that a frustrated Santana fired his agent, Bean Stringfellow, and could negotiate his own contract.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported last night that Santana was looking to sign a one-year deal as soon as possible, preferably with a strong offensive team. If Soldevila’s report from this morning is accurate, we can probably peg the Orioles and Blue Jays as the favorites to be that mystery AL team. However, the Rangers and Mariners have also been mentioned as possibilities this winter. Stay tuned.
Santana, 31, posted a 3.24 ERA and 161/51 K/BB ratio over 211 innings last season. He turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals in order to test free agency. While he was hoping to cash in after his excellent season, being attached to draft pick compensation has had a major impact on his market.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Santana is discussing a one-year, $14 million deal with the Orioles and Blue Jays. There’s also an unidentified National League team (but believed to be the Rockies) which is considered to be “on the fringe” of talks. A deal is expected to come together soon.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.