MLB Rumors: Marlins have inquired about free agent Ervin Santana?

Sep 14, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) walks off the field after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The longer a free agent sits on the market, the more likely his asking price lowers and that opens the door for more teams to show interest in said free agent.

This could be the case with the recent rumor from MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo that the Marlins are interested in free agent starting pitcher, Ervin Santana:

Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana is drawing interest from eight teams including the Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. The Marlins and Cubs also recently inquired about him, but their interest does not appear to be too serious at this time.

The Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees, and Dodgers seem like the most likely destinations for the services of Santana, as they are teams looking to make a run in the 2014 season. The Marlins and Cubs seem to be the two teams that don’t fit in with the others. The Cubs have however shown interest all winter in adding a starter to their rotation, as they were in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes till the end.

The move on the other hand is however questionable from the Marlins perspective. The Marlins likely have just one rotation spot up for grabs headed into spring training, and have a number of prospects close enough to the majors that adding the large contract Santana would demand seem ridiculous.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Santana has recently been asking for a four-year deal in the $60 million range. His asking price is likely to be lowered after the recent Matt Garza signing with the Brewers, but he would still cost the Marlins a significant amount of money. They likely could get close to equal production for a lower cost from one of their up-and-coming prospects.

In fact, according to ZiPS projections for the 2014 season, Santana is projected to post a 4.27 ERA and a 4.53 FIP in 185 innings pitched. ZiPS on the other hand projects a 4.39 ERA and a 4.36 FIP from Brian Flynn in 155 innings. ZiPS projects a 4.26 ERA and a 4.42 FIP from Andrew Heaney in 133 innings.

The Marlins also have other options, including Tom Koehler, and prospects like Adam Conley, Justin Nicolino, Anthony DeSclafani, and Jose Urena likely to start the season in Double-A or above.

Michael Jong of Fishstripes is of the same opinion as me, that Santana and the Marlins don’t seem to be a likely pairing:

Ultimately, Cotillo says the Marlins’ interest is minor, as well it should be. Even at just $12.5 million per season for four years (the same cost Matt Garza got), the Marlins would be going well over budget to accommodate signing the 31-year-old starter. Santana is coming off of his best season (211 innings, 3.24 ERA, 3.93 FIP), but that alone should not entice Miami to make a move.

This is an interesting January rumor for Fish fans to look into. It however does not seem to have any legs to it. I’d be extremely shocked if the Marlins were able to sign Santana, mostly because, they have no need for him.

Topics: Andrew Heaney, Ervin Santana, Miami Marlins

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