Posted: 8:03 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Braves make move for Santana, credit to Wren 

By Jeff Schultz

Ervin Santana spent his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. (AP photo)

Ervin Santana spent his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. (AP photo)

Now there’s something we’re not accustomed to: The Braves did not take a wait-and-see approach.

With pitcher Kris Medlen possibly headed for major elbow surgery again and two other members of the starting rotation ailing, the Braves made a move: They’re signing free agent Ervin Santana.

Photos: 10 things to know about Ervin Santana

Credit to Braves general manager Frank Wren, who more often than not is not proactive in situations like this. In the past, Wren often hasn’t responded quickly to injuries or other problems, instead letting things play out for a while before making a decision on his next move. That figured to be the case here with the regular season still three weeks away, even with Medlen, Brandon Beachy (biceps tendonitis) and Mike Minor (shoulder) all with some level of discomfort.

But Wren moved quickly. In signing Santana, the Braves likely also are making a significant financial commitment. The pitcher signed a one-year, $14.1 million contract, and he’ll become a free agent again after the season. He had been negotiating with Baltimore and Toronto but the Braves offer him a better chance to win and, therefore, build his resume for free agency.

Wren told reporters it was an “incredible decision” by ownership to approve the signing, as it will put the Braves well over their self-imposed budget of a $100 million payroll. The Braves also will have to give up a first-round draft pick for signing Santana (although they gained one when catcher Brian McCann signed with the New York Yankees).

Santana can be erratic. But he’s coming off a season in which  he posted a 3.24 earned run average with the Kansas City Royals and he’s absolutely the best move the Braves could have made in their circumstances, especially without having to give up any assets in trade.

Santana, 31, spent eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before being traded to Kansas City after the 2012 season. He has made 30-plus starts six times and pitched over 200-plus innings five times. The Braves needed an innings-eater. His best season came in 2008, when he went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA, 214 strikeouts and 47 walks in 219 innings. He went only 9-10 with the Royals last year but his 3.24 ERA was a career best and he had 161 strikeouts and 51 walks in 211 innings.

Here’s your Ervin Santana trivia note: He was born Johan Santana in the Dominican Republic. But in part because there already was a major league pitcher with the same name, the younger Johan decided in 2003 to make a change. leagues. “I just came up with Ervin,” Santana said

By any name, he immediately gives the Braves what they needed: a top three starter.

Credit goes to Wren.

Recent ramblings on Braves …
– Blog: Braves now being bit by offseason decisions
– Blog: Braves’ rotation can’t afford Medlen’s loss
– MyAJC ($): McDowell has been guide for Braves’ young pitchers
– Blog: Braves’ Medlen to shave head for charity
–MyAJC ($) Can Teheran, young rotation carry Braves?
– MyAJC ($): Jason Heyward’s time as a Brave could be nearing end
– Blog: Kimbrel gets new deal — and closer’s value should be obvious
– Blog: Poll time: Can Braves’ Uggla or Upton turn it around? (vote)
– MyAJC ($): Dan Uggla: ‘I was a mess’ last season
– MyAJC ($): Braves about to find out if no move was right move
Recent ramblings on other stuff…
– MyAJC ($): Falcons’ makeover has nice start but there’s more to do
– Blog: Falcons’ moves should improve both lines
– MyAJC ($): Gregory says Tech needs to be tougher next season
– MyAJC ($): Nobody’s laughing at Ron Hunter, Georgia State now
– Blog: Denver to cut Champ Bailey, should Falcons cut him?
– MyAJC ($): Any use of ‘N’ word by athletes disrespects history
– Blog: Will a Georgia school get NCAA bid? Here are odds
– MyAJC ($): Hawks’ season unravels — does anybody care?
– Blog: Inaction shows Hawks care more about future than current collapse
– MyAJC ($): Georgia on the right side of drug issue
39 comments
Pelbacker
Pelbacker

Credit?  For overpaying the only available free agent starter?  You don't get credit for that.

St_Simons_he-ne-ha
St_Simons_he-ne-ha

doesn't matter if they get Verlander & the ghost of Catfish Hunter


they'll choke in 3 at the end of the season

TheMonger
TheMonger

Why are my comments not going through?

HUDDYS1FAN
HUDDYS1FAN

Tim Hudson.....we miss you already. I mean c'mon, who do these people thing they are fooling. This team isn't better than the one we saw on the field in 2013, it's worse.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

Good signing, but it's still hard not to think this roster is worse than last year's.

FarTrain
FarTrain

True that !  First smart thing in quite some time!  

58Supersports
58Supersports

Thanks Liberty for final putting up some money. Welcome E Santana to the Braves and Atlanta. Hope you have a 20 game winning season. Go Braves!

Hodor
Hodor

I credit John Hart more than Frank Wren.  And, isn't Uggla batting like .200 so far?

Steve Sullivan
Steve Sullivan

If there are any reporters at the AJC, all the answers are an hour away in Zephyrhills FL.

The best case scenario for Medlen is that due to supinating the release of his breaking pitches he was not able to contract his Pronator Teres muscle. This left only 4 forearm muscles left to pitch with. So those muscles barked. A long shot.

In any event, the Braves should learn how to train pitchers. The chances of Santana getting though a year with that pitching motion are remote.

Beachy is a Pec Major "pull" pitcher. I'd be very concerned about him.

Good luck this year

RandyBrittain
RandyBrittain

With Uggla showing signs of improvement, this might be the best time to find a trade for him. Possibly trade Uggla and Terdoslavich to the Miami marlins who need infielders (who can hit) for pitcher Jacob Turner. The Braves would have to pay at least half of Uggla's salary, but that would be better than paying it all.

DamonH
DamonH

"Kris Medlen possibly headed for major elbow surgery again "

I don't know about "possibly", if there was a chance of him coming back this year they probably would have just found a "make do" starter until he came back. As it stands with this sighing, they're expecting ... someone ... to be out quite a long time 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Ok, one of you guys interview Ned Yost and lets see what we got here.  Good guy, problem, anything left in the tank, why the Royals didn't re-sign? 

Samurai-Squirrel
Samurai-Squirrel

The only problem with the signing is that we have to give up our first round pick...

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Possible rotation in June:

1. Tehran

2. Minor

3. Ervin

4. Beachy

5. G. Floyd

(Wood and Hale long relief or spot starts?)

Still pretty good.

And this move clearly means the org knows Medlens "2nd opinion" wasn't gonna be different... But what if it is? In the 5% chance scenario Meds can pitch in June... What's your starting 5 Schultz?

slydawg
slydawg

Wren is analogous to the Bad Luck Chick.... Everything they touch goes boom!!!

slydawg
slydawg

The Braves will never win anything of consequence under Schuherholtz and Wren. Why should they get any credit for scrambling at the last minute? Santana should have been signed in the off season. Minor or Medlen should have been traded for Price. Those two are baseball snobs whose time is up. It's funny how G. Floyd's timetable has crept up......lmao

Dawggie
Dawggie

Santana should have won 15 games last season, with those numbers, so it's a good move.

Just feeling sick about Medlen - what a gamer he is (was?).

jrob1234
jrob1234

I sure hope we aren't paying $14M for Santana. Please say we aren't paying him that much. 

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

The stadium deal happened, the ownership saw they had to invest in the investment and told Wren "go".

The 2017 Cobb Hot Dogs are gonna be $9.75 with a dollar up charge for ketchup.

Welcome to Atlanta Ervin.

MR1961
MR1961

Here we go again. Applaud the Braves for making the bold move. But last season was the worst years for the Braves, Falcons, Bulldogs and Hawks concerning injuries. I was hoping this season would be different. Where is Karma when you need her???

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

That pick is #26. We get pick #31 from the McCann to Yanks signing. Basically just swapped players and moved down 5 draft spots

Rick_C
Rick_C

@Phillipdj  I think regardless of what the verdict on Medlen is, he's going to be out for an extended period of time.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@slydawg

"The Braves will never win anything of consequence under Schuherholtz and Wren. "

Sorry, winning 96 ballgames and the NL East qualifies as "something of consequence".

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

And why would the Braves have signed Santana when they had 5-6 viable options for starters? And why would the Rays accept that trade, especially considering their "time is up"? Other teams don't make trades to try to help the Braves.

Rick_C
Rick_C

@slydawg  Minor or Medlen should have been traded for Price.

Minor trade would not make sense for the Braves, and Medlen would not make sense for the Rays.  Try again.

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

You know Schuerholz has a World Series ring?

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Braves and UGA football. Both consistent winners, both can't win the big one. But - hard to say the Braves have done "nothing of consequence". There are about 28 other clubs that would trade our last 20 years for theirs in a heartbeat.

Calel
Calel

@jrob1234  


If it makes you feel better, think of it as we're paying him "only" two million.....................per month.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

We're paying him that much. But it's only one year.

FarTrain
FarTrain

@MR1961  Miss Karma has taken up permanent residence in St. Louis.

Rick_C
Rick_C

@Phillipdj  #32 for McCann.  Don't forget the Royals get a comp pick now at #28.

FarTrain
FarTrain

@DawgDadII @slydawg  Totally immaterial.  Might as well have finished in third place as to do that.  Ten years from now nobody will remember that.  What matters is WS titles.  Otherwise what are they playing for?  Too many people are content with just OK, or mediocre, or just average or better.  Those teams are a "dime a dozen".

Calel
Calel

@Phillipdj  


And I'd trade about ten Division Championships for World Series wins in '91, '92, and I'll take '96 and '99, beating the Yankees twice. Matter of fact, I'd give up that '92 loss for a win in '02. And I'd take below .500 years in every other Division-winning season we had........

slydawg
slydawg

The point my friend is to win it all, not go out and have a good time. Stop trying to keep rationality and emotion in the same sentence. Do I "feel" good about UGA and the Braves? Sure. Are they winners? No. Nuff said...T

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Yeah, I know... The eternal optimist in me I suppose.

slydawg
slydawg

@Phillipdj Apparently, you need to be reminded of the GA state curse: Mired in Mediocrity... being just good enough. Its not as simple as Win or go run away. Nice try. But my read on Wren is he's a weasel who makes plans that go wrong. Only people who think you and I are stupid release injury reports stating " ligament involvement"...lmao. The Braves need new, fresh, professional leadership. They have a collection of good baseball people and scouts, not managers. UGA has the same thing in regards to football. I rest my case.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Fair enough. But there are 32 Major League teams. Only one can win it all. There are millions of Cubs and Mets fans who are suffering much more than we are. It's like that scene in Talledega Nights outside the restaurant. "If you're not first you're last! You told me that when I was a kid!" "That doesn't even make sense! You can be second. Or third or fourth..."

Point is - either win it all or be an abject failure isn't a healthy way to live life. I can say I've gotten to be a fan if 16 division titles, a World Series champ, a few SEC champions and a Super Bowl team. I wanna see my guys win every title every year, but I'm not going to eviscerate them when they come really close most of the time. Sure beats being a Detroit Lions or Baltimore Orioles fan.