Don’t tell me that Carlos Santana is too old to pick it. He can still play a mean “Ain’t Got Nobody to Depend On”, which is what Ervin Santana was humming over the winter while holding out for a multi-year offer to his liking that never came. Should the Phillies have pursued Mr. Santana? Here is one school of thought that says no, because Ervin is on the decline and is overpriced. Nonsense! He’s six years younger than A.J. Burnett and had the best ERA and WHIP of his career last year. With Cole Hamels having a dead arm, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez proving once again that Amaro Jr. has no problem throwing good money after bad investments, Santana was the best available option for the Phillies at this point.
The problem is Santana was reported to be looking to sign a one year deal with a team that can hit, thereby increasing his value in free agency by putting up more wins. You know – the vital stat that a throwback like Amaro Jr. still values over WHIP and other sabermetrics. Problem is that wins are a function of both how well your team hits behind you, and how well the bullpen can protect the lead that you left the game with. Remember than new guy that Junior hired to help the Phils catch up to the 21st century on sabermetrics? My point precisely.
Well, no need to deliberate about Santana any longer. He found a team that can hit. While the Phils lost two of their projected five starters for the foreseeable future, the Braves got stronger by signing Santana to a one year contract today. Time will very soon tell if this was a foolish signing by the Braves, or if the Phils lost further ground on their NL East rivals by letting them capitalize on this opportunity.