$100 Million Ervin Santana? Sign or Not?
Ervin Santana is one of the best free agent starting pitchers on the market in the 2013/2014 off-season. He is making it known it will take $100 million to sign him and is hoping for 5 years on his deal which equals out $20 million per season. Is Ervin Santana crazy to think a team will pay for such services or is he capitalizing on the way the free agent market is nowadays? He clearly thinks he’s worth it and he’s not the only big starting pitcher on the market commanding what many feel to be crazy money, as Ricky Nolasco is looking for $80 million. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t overpay for Ervin Santana:
Santana could be one of the more frustrating pitchers to deal with due to his inconsistency. Santana has only had a string of two seasons in a row with an ERA under 4 and one of those seasons his ERA was barely under 4 at 3.92. He also from time to time can lose control of the strike zone and allow a fair share of base runners in a game. His career WHIP is 1.28 so he has a history of allowing base runners. Santana has too many up and down seasons to be worth $100 million.
Santana may be 30 years old and still have two years or so left of quality pitching left in the tank but if you sign him to a 5 year deal, you will be paying $20 million per season to a player who will be nearing the end of his career. Very rarely do pitcher’s stuff get better as they age so you shouldn’t be paying $20 million for a man who’s ability will be declining as well. One reason Santana has been successful in the past is due to his ability to strike people out, but once his pitches becomes less crisp and flat, all those base runners that he allows, will start coming around to score due to his inability to get out of jams, which seems inevitable for pitchers as they age.
This final and 3rd point stems from point number one of inconsistency. If you sign Ervin Santana, based off of his career trends, after a good year with the Royals, history would tell you he is in for a another sub-par season. Anyone paying Santana $20 million for next season could end up regretting it. You just never know what Santana will give you this coming season, especially if you follow his career trends.
These are three reasons why I think Ervin Santana is crazy to think he is a $100 million pitcher. If his asking price was any lower teams would probably be lining up for his services. Personally, I think Santana is worth no more than about $60 million, which would require about a 4 year term equaling $15 million per season. This is what I think Santana is worth but he is truly capitalizing on the way the MLB free agent market has shaped up over the past few seasons. You tell me, do you think a man with a career 4.19 ERA is worth $100 million?