With their rotation depth crumbling in recent days, the Braves made a big move, signing right-hander Ervin Santana to a one year, $14.1 million deal. After a terrible 2012 season, Santana thrived with the Royals last year, posting a 3.24 ERA, 3.93 FIP, and 3.69 xFIP in 210 innings with 161 strikeouts and 51 walks. Despite his success, Santana struggled to find any kind of market after turning down the Royals' qualifying offer early in the offseason.
In recent days, the Blue Jays and Orioles had looked like the main two suitors for Santana. However, things changed when Braves pitcher Kris Medlen left Monday's game against the Mets with his right elbow noticeably bothering him. All indications point to Medlen needing Tommy John surgery. Coupled with Brandon Beachy dealing with his own elbow problems, the Braves pounced on Santana.
Because they signed Santana, the Braves will give up the 26th overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft. The Mets met with Santana's agents early in the offseason, but a deal never seemed likely after the Mets signed Bartolo Colon.
Santana's signing leaves just two free-agents who turned down qualifying offers this offseason: Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. Sandy Alderson told reporters today that Santana's signing would have no bearing on what the Mets did with Drew.