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The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with.

Santana is just what the Braves rotation needed this week after 60% of their rotation is suspect for opening day (Medlen to possible TJ Surgery for a 2nd time, Beachy and Minor.)  It is hard to sign any pitcher just for the year, and $14.1 MIL is not too shabby for a guy who has been in the mid 3 ERA for 3 of the last four years.  Hopefully by 2015, Atlanta's top 3 Pitchers will have healed up 100%.  Santana is bankable for about 200 IP every year, great with the state of health the Braves Rotation is currently in.

Santana is just what the Braves rotation needed this week after 60% of their rotation is suspect for opening day (Medlen to possible TJ Surgery for a 2nd time, Beachy and Minor.) It is hard to sign any pitcher just for the year, and $14.1 MIL is not too shabby for a guy who has been in the mid 3 ERA for 3 of the last four years. Hopefully by 2015, Atlanta’s top 3 Pitchers will have healed up 100%. Santana is bankable for about 200 IP every year, great with the state of health the Braves Rotation is currently in.

The week just kept becoming better for the RHP Veteran.  1st Toronto was bidding, than Baltimore, the Twins kicked the tires on a 3 YRs/$33 MIL and now the NL East defending champions finally locked him down for a 2014 contract..

For the 31 Year Old Veteran. he must have been cringing at plying his craft at either the Rogers Center or Camden Yards (hitter friendly parks – not so conducive for a HR allowing chucker.)

Santana will make his way to Atlanta, a franchise that has not seen too many losing campaigns in the last 25 seasons.

The Braves have seen starting pitchers fly out to the injury table in Spring Training quicker than Jesus Montero ran down all you can eat buffet’s in the off year.

Atlanta should be fighting tooth and nail with Washington for the majority of the year in the NL East. 

While the Nats may win the Division, the Braves could fatten up on Miami, New York – and perhaps Philly for over 35% of their schedule – and sneak in for a Wild Card Slot.

While some of us here at this website have criticized the Braves for their winter, there is no doubt that the team could prove us all wrong quick.

Santana is kind of played the YO-YO string for much of his career, going for ERA’s as high as in the 5’s, all the way to being in the mid-low 3’s.

What I like most is that he has put forth 3 good seasons out of the last 4 campaigns.

Santana has been prone to give up the longball (having led the MLB for 2012 and 2013 years combined), but Turner Field, plus Citi Field, Nationals Park and New Marlins will eat up about 2/3rds of this year's available parks.  All pro pitcher.

Santana has been prone to give up the longball (having led the MLB for 2012 and 2013 years combined), but Turner Field, plus Citi Field, Nationals Park and New Marlins  Ball Park will eat up about 2/3rds of this year’s stadiums the Braves play in. All pro pitcher.

In 2010, he was 17 – 10, with a 3.92, 2011 saw him go 11 – 12, but with a respectable 3.38 clip, 2012 was the outlier of the last 4 years, where he fashioned a mark of 5.16 in 30 Game Starts, with a 9 – 13 Record.

Then we had last year, pitching in Kansas City, saw him have carry a mark of 3.24 – while logging 211.2 IP in 32 Game Starts.

The Braves are receiving a work horse.  His ability to throw a lot of innings will be of paramount importance.

Medlen was only 2nd to Clayton Kershaw for ERA in the NL since mid 2012.  Unfortunately for the RHP, he is on his way to see Dr. Andrews, and possibly a second go around with Tommy John Surgery.  Medlen injured himself earlier this week in Spring Training.  He was projected to be Atlanta's #1 Starting Pitcher,

Medlen was only 2nd to Clayton Kershaw for ERA in the NL since mid 2012. Unfortunately for the RHP, he is on his way to see Dr. Andrews, and possibly a second go around with Tommy John Surgery. Medlen injured himself earlier this week in Spring Training. He was projected to be Atlanta’s #1 Starting Pitcher,

Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy not withstanding, the franchise also lost long – time Veteran Tim Hudson this past off-year.

Minor is expected to be the best out of the 3, ailing from a personal area that withstood surgery. 

Beachy still hasn’t fully recovered from his 2012 Tommy John Surgery (having a follow up arthroscopic surgery in Sept of 2013, to clean up his elbow yet again.)

Julio Teheran and Alex Wood  are the clubs best pitchers that are presently healthy. 

Teheran lugged a personal best of IP with 185.2 last year, while Wood threw in 140 IP overall in the MiLB and MLB (77.2 with ATL), both as a Starter and a reliever.

If they can make it through the first few weeks of the season too, Gavin Floyd will join the fold. (He too is recovering from TJ Surgery). 

Again you are never 100% confident in a time frame on TJ recovery.

The club may also get lucky with either Minor or Beachy having a full year healthy, but this was not the time to bank on that.

Freddy Garcia is not a bad #5 option on a Starting Staff in the NL, but if he goes any higher, than you are asking for trouble.

J.R. Graham has flamethrower skill, and maybe earning himself a spot in the rotation by sheer default to start the campaign- and the teams #7 prospect David Hale are other Starter possibilities.

Look at what I am talking about, it so evidently clear the team needed to sign Santana.

This is a wise move for Santana, as NL SP usually feature a quarter of run better on the ERA, plus moving to a good offense and defensive club should help his numbers before hitting the open market again in 2015.

This is a wise move for Santana, as NL SP usually feature a quarter of run better on the ERA, plus moving to a good offense and defensive club should help his numbers before hitting the open market again in 2015.

With the salary afforded for the new Starter, the Braves are sitting at a total team payroll of about $110 MIL.  That can’t be what the ownership had budgeted for this season.

Just think of their Division rivals the Nationals.  Their Starters 1 – 4 may be all better than what the Braves have to offer on opening day right now.

I mean for half of the year in 2013, B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward (J-Hey did break out of it when he was inserted into the leadoff slot) were batting south of .200, yet the squad still had the best record in the MLB in that time frame.

If the team has any production from those first 2 players, it will be a bonus to the rest of the squad.

Nobody has an easier strength of schedule versus their Division than Washington and Atlanta during the 2014 season in the NL. 

Do I think they will overtake Washington for the Division…No…But Kudos to the ownership and brass moving so quickly to resolve this matter  – and keep the teams hopes alive for a post season berth.

With this move today, it should ease some people’s worries at least for a little while.

Atlanta has been the lining the pockets of its youngsters since the new stadium plans were revealed.  Freeman (8 YRs/$135 MIL), Teheran (6 YRs./$32.4 MIL), Simmons (7 YRs/$58 MIl), Heyward (2 Yrs/$13.3 MIL) and Kimbrel (4 YRs/$42 MIL) almost represents $300 MIL to their core talent on the team this offseason.  This mad eup for their lack of movement on Free Agency.  Their rash of injuries forced them to sign Ervin Santana.  This pole vaults their salary structure from about $95 - $110 MIL for 2014.  They have spent all their new TV Revenue dollars.  If the team can cobble together for the 1st few months, mend their Starters, the Braves will be fine.

Atlanta has been the lining the pockets of its youngsters since the new stadium plans were revealed. Freeman (8 YRs/$135 MIL), Teheran (6 YRs./$32.4 MIL), Simmons (7 YRs/$58 MIl), Heyward (2 YRs/$13.3 MIL) and Kimbrel (4 YRs/$42 MIL) almost represents $300 MIL to their core talent on the team this offseason. This mad eup for their lack of movement on Free Agency. Their rash of injuries forced them to sign Ervin Santana. This pole vaults their salary structure from about $95 – $110 MIL for 2014. They have spent all their new TV Revenue dollars. If the team can cobble together for the 1st few months, mend their Starters, the Braves will be fine.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

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Posted on March 12, 2014, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing.

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