After a flurry of conflicting reports had Ervin Santana close to a deal with the Blue Jays and then setting a deadline for signing at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the dust has settled a bit and Santana is still without a team. Sources indicate that his camp is still in talks with multiple teams, and that his decision could come within the next couple of days.
As Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reported yesterday, Santana is currently weighing offers from the Blue Jays (1 year, $14MM) and Orioles (1 year, $13MM plus potential incentives) and would prefer to sign a one-year deal and join a team in spring training as soon as possible. Rojas noted that two other teams expressed interest yesterday, with the Phillies and Rockies being linked to Santana in recent days.
The Twins, who have already added starters Mike Pelfrey, Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes this winter, are now in the race for Santana. Minnesota recently offered Santana a three-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, but they are unlikely to sign him unless they meet his four-year asking price. Santana is most likely to sign a one-year pillow contract, with three- or four-year deals at a reasonable average annual value remaining possible as well.
At this point, Toronto and Baltimore seem like the two most likely destinations for the right-hander, who wants to get a deal done as soon as possible. It would be a surprise if he did not head to one of those AL East rivals, but other teams--the Twins, Phillies, or another team making a late push--could snatch him up with last-minute offers.