When the offseason started, free agent pitcher Ervin Santana was reportedly seeking a contract in the range of $100 million. He is now reportedly looking at a contract close to the qualifying offer he declined from the Royals before becoming a free agent. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Orioles are in on the final chase for Santana, having offered a $13 million contract, plus unspecified incentives. The other team in the hunt is the Blue Jays, who have offered $14 million for one year.
Rojas reports that Santana will make his decision by 4pm Saturday. The O's haven't had good luck luring people to the team with incentive contracts, though Santana is not exactly Bronson Arroyo. It's always possible the Orioles will decide to up their offer before Santana makes his decision as well.
Santana is coming off a 2013 campaign in which he held opposing hitters to a .233/.288/.380 batting line over 211 innings. He allowed 26 home runs even while pitching in Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, a relatively low-homer environment compared to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. There's a lot about that to make somebody balk about having him on the O's.
One thing that has led Santana to where he is, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, is that there are serious concerns about his elbow among teams. He threw the highest percentage of sliders of any pitcher in 2013. If the O's reported offer is right, then it seems they aren't worried about his elbow for this season, or at least they're willing to take a chance on it.
Signing Santana would cost the Orioles their third-round draft choice, since they've already given up their top two picks in signing Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz. He would bump somebody out of the rotation, possibly Bud Norris, which would then bump somebody out of the bullpen in turn.
Do you want any part of Santana pitching in Camden Yards? Or would you rather the Orioles get to have the chance to light him up a few times a year as he pitches for a division rival?