Updated 01:13 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 02, 2014
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MLB Trade Rumors: Ervin Santana Close to Deal With Orioles or Blue Jays

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Ervin Santana
The Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, and Minnesota Twins have offered contract to Ervin Santana. (Photo : Reuters)

Free-agent hurler Ervin Santana is reportedly close to signing a deal either with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles, a source close to situation reported on Monday.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on Santana's upcoming contract signing, though his destination remains uncertain up to now as the Blue Jays and the Orioles are in the midst of a tug-of-war to snag the starting pitcher.

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"Free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana seems to finally be heading toward a deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays and the Orioles have both been in touch with Santana. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, meanwhile, tweets that the Orioles will strongly pursue Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez this week," MLB Trade Rumors reported.

Fresh off a strong season with the Kansas City Royals in 2013, Santana will likely demand a lucrative deal with his new team. Santana posted a record of 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts; he averaged 6.9 strikeouts and 2.2 walks per nine innings.

Many analysts pointed out Santana would have been signed much earlier, but the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes had put his contract negotiation on hold. Moreover, teams are also considering the gamble of losing a draft pick in exchange for his services on the mound.

"His path to a new team has been blocked, however, first by the uncertainty regarding Masahiro Tanaka's destination, and now by the fact that the team that signs him will have to forfeit a draft pick. As Rosenthal points out, the Jays' No. 9 and No. 11 picks are protected, which means they would only have to forfeit their No. 49 overall pick. The Orioles would lose their top draft choice, at No. 17," MLB Trade Rumors reported.

Apparently, the Jays and the Orioles are not alone in the hunt for Santana. Other top contenders have also expressed their willingness to take the hurler, though at a much lower price.

"Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that there's no interest in Santana from the Twins, but he hears that the Orioles, Mariners, Dodgers, Yankees and Indians have all inquired on Santana within the past few days. Of course, the Dodgers signed Paul Maholm over the weekend, so they may no longer be in the market for another starter," reported MLB Trade Rumors. 

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