Braves non-tender three, Santana wants five-year deal

Unlike the Oakland Athletics who had more then 10 candidates to consider whether or not to tender contracts to the Atlanta Braves had six choices.

Those six players included starting pitchers Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, minor leaguer Gus Schlosser, Mike Minor, James Russell and and David Carpenter.

Mike Minor. Scott Cunningham/Getty Images.
Mike Minor. Scott Cunningham/Getty Images.

The Braves tendered contracts to half the group: Minor, Carpenter and Russell. Now they have a chance to negotiate their 2015 contracts with the team through arbitration and (hopefully not) arbitration hearings.

The fact that the Braves non-tendered Beachy and Medlen came as a surprise but at the same time makes sense for Atlanta, or actually any team.

Both Beachy and Medlen had their second Tommy John surgeries prior to the beginning of last season. Coming back from a second Tommy John surgery is obviously much more difficult than the first.

Pitchers can and have done it successfully but their careers end up being shorter than most. A small number have pitchers have returned after their third Tommy John surgery but not for all that long.

That kind of extensive surgery may work but each time a player must undergo the procedure it takes it’s toll on the arm. That is inevitable.

Although Beachy and Medlen are both now free agents who can sign with any team that offers them a contract, the Braves have said that they are still planning to negotiate with the two starting pitchers.

If the Braves had tendered the contracts of Beachy and Medlen they would have had to offer them at least 80 percent of what they earned in 2014, despite the fact that the two did not play during the season.

Now instead, the Braves can negotiate, say, a one-year deal laden with incentives that will vest as the pitcher accomplishes certain feats like pitching a certain number of innings.

This makes the most sense and is the smartest move for Atlanta. There is always the chance, moreso on after the second surgery, that neither pitcher will ever pitch again or not pitch the in the same way that they used to.


Both were quality starters for the Braves, who ended up signing veterans Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang to replace Beachy and Medlen and fill out their rotation in 2014.

Both Santana and Harang had solid seasons. Harang, who’s now 36 and had been with two teams in 2013 posting a 5.40 ERA, bounced back going 12-12 in 204.1 innings posting a 3.57 ERA in 2014 for Atlanta.

Santana went 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 196 innings pitched. The word now is that Santana is seeking a five-year deal somewhere which seems like quite a lot to ask for.

Santana, who turns 32 in December, has been a solid, probably third or fourth starter, for the past 10 seasons. He’s had years with an ERA over 5.00 and never had a season with an ERA under 3.00.

Those numbers are decent but a five-year deal just isn’t going to happen. It’s not realistic and is actually kind of ludicrous,

Still you never know, if a team gets desperate they may consider it, but if a team actually bites and gives him a five-year deal, well, that will be big news.  Santana is reaching with a demand like that.

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