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.