Free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana has been engaged in serious talks for a one-year deal with the Blue Jays, Orioles, and an unnamed NL team believed to be the Rockies, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Santana has had a rough offseason thus far with teams not showing strong interest in him at the price he had been demanding after turning down a qualifying offer. That qualifying offer requires any team that signs him to forfeit a top draft pick. There have been times where it seemed like Santana might find a deal, but with spring training well underway, he has yet to find a new home.
The most recent rumors have Santana seeking $14 million for one year of work, meaning he now appears to be hoping to fall just around what he would have received had he accepted the qualifying offer from the Royals. If he said yes to that, he would have stayed in Kansas City on a $14.1 million deal for 2014.
Though Heyman includes the Orioles as a team negotiating with Santana, Roch Kubatko of MASN says that the team is not close to signing him for the rumored dollar amount. The Orioles have recently signed Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz, both of whom were in similar situations as Santana. If the Orioles were to also bring in Santana, they would not pick until round four of the 2014 draft.
The Blue Jays have been among teams with the most interest in Santana all offseason as they look to fix a rotation that suffered through a number of injuries in 2013 and unexpectedly finished with the second-worst starting ERA in the American League. The club is rumored to be offering $14 million with no incentives which, at this point, may be enough to get a deal done. Bringing in Santana could solidify the Blue Jays as darkhorse contenders for a playoff spot.
Santana had originally been seeking a deal surpassing $100 million when he first filed for free agency.