Pitcher Ervin Santana will receive a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Braves, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. As a result, the Braves will either get Santana back for one more year or receive draft pick compensation if he chooses to sign elsewhere.
Santana was hurt by being attached to draft pick compensation, going unsigned until mid-March, when the Braves signed the right-hander after pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy each suffered an injury.
Santana, who turns 32 in December, finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 179/63 K/BB ratio in 196 innings for the Braves this past season. Though he struggled at times, he was able to bring his strikeout rate up to 22 percent, his highest rate since 2008 with the Angels.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”