Report: Atlanta Braves expected to issue qualifying offer to Ervin Santana


The Atlanta Braves have a great deal of uncertainty in the starting rotation as the focus shifts toward the 2015 season. Aside from Alex Wood and Julio Teheran, there is almost nothing “guaranteed” about who will fill the remaining trio of spots, but there is an interesting decision to be made surrounding right-hander Ervin Santana.

With that in mind, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the team is “expected” to issue a qualifying offer to Santana prior to Monday’s deadline for executing that decision:

"The Braves haven’t revealed their intentions with either, but are expected to make a $15.3 million qualifying offer to Santana before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline for teams to extend those uniform one-year offers to their top free agents."

As noted by O’Brien, this would entail the Braves essentially offering a one-year, $15.3 million contract to Ervin Santana, who could then decide whether to accept the contract. If this occurred, a decision by “Big Erv” to reject the contract tender would result in the Braves receiving a compensatory draft pick from any team that chose to sign him for the 2015 season and beyond.

The 31-year-old Santana was not dominant by any stretch during the 2014 season, but he was, at the very least, an above-average starting pitcher. Atlanta gave Ervin Santana a $14.1 million contract for one season, and he responded with a 3.95 ERA, and more importantly, he chewed through 196 innings and 31 starts for a team that needed stability in the wake of injuries to both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy.

The decision to issue the qualifying offer to Ervin Santana should be a simple one in my view, and once that happens (if it does), it will be quite interesting to see if he accepts. Stay tuned for the latest on the Atlanta Braves throughout the off-season.