It appears that free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana has finally found his team for the 2014 season.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Santana and the Atlanta Braves are in the final stages of completing a deal.
The #Braves are nearing the completion of a deal with Ervin Santana.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 12, 2014
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, with some certainty, that the team will announce the deal at Surprise Stadium Wednesday morning.
#Braves will announce Ervin Santana signing this morning at Champion Stadium.
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) March 12, 2014
This will be the culmination of a series of events that included Kris Medlen, the Braves’ Opening Day starter, injuring his throwing elbow. In Atlanta Santana finds a much more natural fit for a number of reasons: it keeps him out of the American League East, it keeps him and his career flyball tendencies out of hitter-friendly parks in Baltimore and Toronto, and it puts him on a team with playoff aspirations.
Terms of the deal have not been reported yet, but presumably it is around the one-year, $14 million mark that has been thrown around in recent days unless the Braves won the bidding by offering him more years.
When the players push to remove the qualifying offer/compensatory draft pick system, Santana’s case will be one they cite as a guy who struggled in free agency as a result. In the end, though, Santana will end up in a pretty good landing spot to continue the success he found in 2013.