First of all, this isn’t the worst idea in the world. It just may not be the best, particularly if Santana really does want $50-60 million over four years.
Santana is 105-90 lifetime, and he was 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA last year. Good numbers, but worth $12-15 million a year?
The problem with Santana is that he has some ugly years in there. In 2012, he was 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA and a WAR of -1.5 for the year. A guy that is one year removed from that kind of performance has to make you just a little bit nervous. Santana also gave up 39 home runs that season, which led the league.
You understand the mentality. With Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma at the top of the rotation, it would be nice to have another veteran hurler. Granted, that word “veteran” can sometimes be a bit skewed.
Just because a guy has been around doesn’t mean that he is going to be terribly effective. As much as the Mariners want to put a quality team on the field, would it be so bad to put Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez in the rotation? Would they do any worse than an Ervin Santana?
Right now teams and agents are facing off, waiting for the other party to blink. The Mariners should not blink. If Santana gets desperate for a job and lowers his asking price, perhaps the M’s would take a look. Otherwise, the Mariners should go with the youngsters, and save their money for bats.