Bidding war for Ervin Santana includes restaurants offering him pizza and crab cakes

Ervin SantanaOne of the prolonged stories of the Major League Baseball offseason has been the destination of free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana.

After initially hoping for a multi-year contract, it now appears Santana will accept a one-year deal as opening day nears and he’s still without a team. Depending on whose sources you believe, the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are two of the leading contenders for his services. Both teams have reportedly made offers. Now, it’s up to Santana to make a choice.

In attempt to sway Ervin Santana’s decision, a pizza chain and local seafood restaurant are offering him plenty of pizza and crab cakes as incentive to join either the Blue Jays or Orioles.

We’re expected to know the winner of the Ervin Santana sweepstakes in the coming days. If he ends up in Toronto or Baltimore we will have to wait until the introductory press conference to find out if pizza or crab cakes played a part in the decision making process.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Unsigned Ervin Santana reportedly considering switching agents

Ervin SantanaSpring training is already in full swing, and free agent pitcher Ervin Santana remains unsigned. Perhaps frustrated over his unemployment, he may be considering switching agents.

FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday that Santana is considering a switch in representation. He is currently represented by Bean Stringfellow (great name) of Proformance.

Santana, who pitched extremely well for the Kansas City Royals last season, was one of the top free agent pitchers on the market. But he has not received an offer to his liking and his patience may not pay off.

The Orioles and Blue Jays have been among the teams most commonly linked with Santana. The Mariners, Rockies and Rangers are also interested, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Santana is believed to be seeking a deal similar to what the other top free agent pitchers — Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco and Ubaldo Jimenez — also received. For what it’s worth, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said Santana’s current asking price is too high for them.

Ervin has made at least 30 starts in each of the past four seasons and has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three of those four. As an Angels fan, his disastrous 2007 season completely turned me off on him, but he is much more reliable than I give him credit for. Perhaps Bean needs to drop the asking price or change his strategy since we’re getting so late in the game.

Ervin Santana reportedly seeking $100 million contract

Ervin Santana“What are headlines that made me laugh? For $500, Alex.”

Yes, you read that headline correctly. Ervin Santana, whom I realize many of you have never heard of, is seeking a five-year, $100 million contract in free agency, according to FOX MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal.

Santana, who turns 31 in December, is coming off perhaps the best year of his career. He went 9-10 with a career-low 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 211 innings for the Kansas City Royals last season. Santana is 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA for his career, accumulating most of his stats with the Angels, for whom he pitched from 2005-2012.

Santana has actually been a very fine pitcher for two out of the past three seasons, but as many Angels fans can tell you, he’s extremely hard to trust. For every good season he has, there’s an equally bad one. In 2007, he went 7-14 with a 5.76 ERA. He just didn’t give the Angels a chance to win most of his starts. In 2009, he was 8-8 with a 5.03 ERA. The Angels finally decided to trade him after he went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA in 2012.

Keep in mind that Santana probably is not someone you want in your postseason rotation. Though it’s a small sample size, he has a 5.56 ERA in 22.2 postseason innings.

But the benefits of Santana are that he still has a pretty lively fastball despite throwing around 1,500 career innings, and his slider is a big out pitch. He also has pitched over 200 innings in a season five times, which suggests he is durable.

The lack of big pitchers on the free agent market means Santana could get a contract that is close to what he is seeking. I just know I wouldn’t be the person to give it to him.

Angels Pitching Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on Three Days’ Rest vs. Rangers

There is only a month left in baseball’s regular season and the Texas Rangers lead the Angels by 2.5 games in the AL West. Texas took three of four from the Angels in Anaheim last week and the teams meet again for a three-game weekend series. Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows time is running out on the season so he’s decided to gamble for the monstrous series; he’s pitching Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on short rest against Texas.

Dan Haren will start Friday against Derek Holland. Haren beat the Orioles the previous week so he has a full six days off. Santana, however, pitched eight innings on Tuesday against the White Sox. He’ll pitch Saturday against C.J. Wilson. Jered Weaver pitched seven scoreless innings on Wednesday to beat Chicago the day after signing a five-year extension with the club. Weaver will pitch Sunday against Colby Lewis.

Neither pitcher has ever started on three days’ rest. Now it’s time to see what they’re made of. Something tells me Weaver will be up for the task. Let’s hope Santana will be too.

Johan Santana’s Elbow Is Much More Important than Ervin Santana’s Elbow

Weird title, but allow me to explain. Word came out Sunday afternoon that an MRI on Angels pitcher Ervin Santana’s elbow revealed a strained MCL. As a response, the Angels are shutting Santana down for the time being and they’re going to start him on the DL to begin the year. Now even though the Angels are my team, I’m not a big fan of Ervin. Trust me, if you had to witness 26 of his starts in ’07 you would understand. Putting that aside, Santana went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA last year. He had 214 strikeouts which was second in the league, and 219 innings pitched, which was 4th in the AL. Ervin was an All-Star pitcher on the best regular season team in MLB last year. By the transitive property of common sense, Santana is an important player in baseball. Allow me to now move on to my gripe.

None of the major sports sites had a headline on their homepage regarding Santana’s injury. Some sites even (I’m looking at you, Yahoo!) had a news headline about Chipper Jones injuring his oblique in the WBC as if Chipper getting hurt again, much less for an exhibition event, actually qualifies as news. On a larger note, what bothers me most is that we have been subjected to non-stop updates on Johan Santana’s elbow the past two weeks even though it looks like he’ll be OK for opening day. Oh I see, now that he’s a Met, he’s all of a sudden important to ESPN? The guy was a Cy Young winner five seasons ago and you didn’t care, but now that he’s in New York, the thought of him not being ready on Opening Day is a big deal. Moreover, in what I’m guessing was an effort to promote ESPN’s “spring training blog,” the story that Derek Jeter had a sore hamstring in the first week of camp made it onto ESPN’s front web page, and into ESPNEWS’ 30-minute block. A sore hamstring. The kind every player gets the first week of camp. Front page headline. Seriously.

I think it’s become pretty clear (as if we didn’t already know), that ESPN’s just going to promote what’s important to them rather than what’s actually relevant. Derek Jeter having a sore, not injured or torn hamstring, is a main headline. All-Star pitcher for 100-win club having sprained MCL in pitching elbow and starting the season on the DL means nothing. Only you as the fan know what’s really important. Don’t let those Networks and sites tell you what is and what isn’t because clearly their judgment is skewed.