Santana equals Greinke? Get real.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Ervin Santana's agents made an argument for a $112M contract for their client, claiming Santana is very similar to Dodgers ace Zack Greinke. Are they right?

No. They are not right. Bean Stringfellow, Joe White and Jay Alou are wrong. Ervin Santana and Zack Greinke are not a lot closer than one might think.

As CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported on Wednesday, Santana's agents aren't asking for $100M. No, they want $112M. Over five years.

Apparently, they are carrying around an entire book full of data comparing Santana to Greinke. In the report, Heyman notes the "compelling case" made in their data:

...over the three years heading into their free agency, they are remarkably and shockingly similar. Greinke had a 3.83 ERA, 106 ERA plus and 1.215 WHIP. Santana had a 3.85 ERA, 101 ERA plus and 1.208 WHIP.

The "platform" year (the year heading into free agency) is pretty comparable, too. Greinke had a 3.48, 115 ERA plus and 1.196 WHIP in 2012. Santana had a 3.24 ERA, 127 ERA plus and 1.142 WHIP in 2013.

That is pretty close...on the surface. It seems like the use of ERA+ is a thinly veiled attempt at using advanced statistics, but really all ERA+ does is compare one inconclusive number to several other inconclusive numbers. It's a limited barometer for performance, and since most teams have analytics departments, Santana's agents might have trouble selling their data to organizations with a $112M price tag. To be fair to Heyman, he doesn't have the time to dig too deep into the dozens of stories he's pumping out everyday around this time of year.

For more on the Dodgers: True Blue LA For more on the Royals: Royals Review

A quick look at each player's FanGraphs page will give you an idea of how far apart they really are. At least they have pitched a very similar number of innings in their respective careers. How convenient!

Greinkerv_mediumPHOTO CREDITS: Greinke - Lisa Blumenfeld, Getty Images / Santana - John Reiger, USA TODAY Sports

VERDICT -- Ervin Santana : Zack Greinke :: Bruce Chen : Ervin Santana

...or written numerically (career fWAR) -- 19.6 : 37.3 :: 9.2 : 19.6

The math isn't perfect there, but it's pretty close. And it's a hell of a lot closer to being correct than 19.6 = 37.3.

Santana has been a good pitcher at times in his career, but comparing him to Zack Greinke is just silly. No one really needs the stats to tell the difference, but it seemed like Heyman bought it...at least on the surface. Which is exactly as deep as Santana-Greinke comparison goes.

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