Mar 12 2014, 10:44pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Less than 24 hours after Kris Medlen exited Sunday's start with what appears to be a season-ending elbow injury, it became apparent the Braves were at least evaluating the possibility of signing free agent Ervin Santana.
"While Santana appeared to be a welcome addition to Atlanta's injury-depleted starting rotation, there was reason to wonder if the Braves would be willing to sacrifice a draft pick and exceed their budget enough to financially compete with the offers the veteran right-hander had reportedly received from the Blue Jays, Orioles and Twins.
"All of those questions were answered in an authoritative manner on Wednesday, when the Braves replenished their rotation by signing Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million contract."
Bowman stresses the Braves reached out to Santana only after Medlen and another starter, Brandon Beachy, went down with elbow injuries on consecutive days. Beachy's prognosis seems to be better than Medlen's at the moment.
In a separate update, O'Brien quotes Santana, who said he's excited to be in Atlanta.
"I'm very excited to be in this organization. Young talent. It's going to be a fun season for us.
"I don't know the National League, but I will adjust and do my job like I always do and go out every five days and do my work. It's going to be fun.
"Been working out every single day, throwing bullpens, and I'm basically almost ready to go. I just need to throw against hitters and in games."
For his part, Braves general manager Frank Wren told O'Brien he and the rest of the organization are thrilled to have Santana on board.
"It just worked out that he had not reached an agreement yet, and so once we had the injuries, we reached out to his agent...We're thrilled to have him, and we feel like he really gives us a big shot in the arm as far as the rotation's concerned.
"In light of what's happened over the past few days with our pitching staff, we thought it was incumbent on us to do everything we could to strengthen our starting pitching."
Atlanta CEO Terry McGuirk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the Braves are not rebuilding. Instead, they are going all out.
"We're not in a rebuilding mode. We're in a winning mode. And we're standing in this clubhouse right now with a bunch of winners around us. We think that the time is now. We've always been willing to add to the payroll and add to the substance of this club.
"We have been in a rebuilding mode going with you, going back four or five years. But that youth has all arrived. If you were in our spot, you would do the same thing. It's the right time.
"Money is not the issue so much as, is it the right time to do it? We want to send a message to the guys in this clubhouse and our fans and our sponsors, to our organization, that we expect to win, we want to win. That was why."
Bowman reports the Braves' starting rotation for the regular season currently features Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia and David Hale. Santana and Mike Minor -- who experienced left-shoulder discomfort during spring training -- could join the quartet by April 12.
Gavin Floyd could also join the rotation in late April after he has fully recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery, per Bowman.
On Feb. 4, Atlanta agreed to terms with first baseman Freddie Freeman and right fielder Jason Heyward on an eight-year and two-year deal, respectively. Ten days later, Teheran followed suit via his own six-year conract.
On Feb. 16, the Braves agreed to terms with ace closer Craig Kimbrel on a four-year deal and then drew up a seven-year contract for shortstop Andrelton Simmons four days afterward.
Santana has posted a career win-loss record of 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA in 1,686.2 innings pitched since 2005, per ESPN stats. He previously took the mound for the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
blog comments powered by Disqus