The Orioles have made a one-year $13 million dollar offer to free agent pitcher Ervin Santana. The Birds have turned into that thrifty shopper hitting the malls on December 24th finding every last good deal on the shelf. They have added Ubaldo Jiminez and Nelson Cruz. They are going all in during this two-year window they have with Chris Davis and Matt Wieters before they hit free agency. That’s a good thing. But one thing everyone seems to have forgotten about is that during the previous two years, one of the biggest pieces of their winning puzzle is gone. And he has not been replaced. Jim Johnson and his 101 saves are in Oakland – given away for basically nothing. To save $10 million. The Orioles didn’t think he was worth it.
Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com joined Zinno on “Last Call” to discuss who would be the better value. Szymborski doesn’t like Santana in Camden Yards because he gives up too many home runs. And he also sees the concept that the closer, in general, is someone who can be replaced. Jim Johnson aside, many teams have recycled closers over the past few years. It wasn’t really a choice of Johnson or Santana, but the Orioles decided to part ways with the All-Star closer.
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