Just over one week after it was reported the Los Angeles Dodgers were nearing an agreement with Sergio Santos, the team officially announced the signing Thursday. Santos joins the Dodgers on a Minor-League deal with an invite to big-league camp in Spring Training.
Santos began last season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ closer with Casey Janssen unavailable, but he struggled and lost the job. He finished 0-3 with an 8.57 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, and 29 strikeouts in 26 appearances. Santos’ troubles resulted in him twice being designated for assignment.
The 31 year old became a free agent this offseason after the Blue Jays elected to pay the $750,000 buyout in his contract rather than exercising their $6 million team option. Santos’ signing with the Dodgers ends his three-year tenure in Toronto.
A Los Angeles native and product of Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.), Santos was selected No. 27 overall in the 2002 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2002 draft. He spent four years with the Diamondbacks organization before joining the Blue Jays.
However, it was with the Chicago White Sox in 2010 that Santos received his first opportunity at the Major League level. He appeared in 56 games (51.2 innings pitched) during his rookie year and finished with a 2-2 record, 2.96 ERA and 56 strikeouts.
The following season, Santos earned a career-best 30 saves, but also had 3.55 ERA and six blown saves. Since 2011, the right-hander has failed to appear in more than 29 games during one season and has a combined eight saves over the last three seasons.
With Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias, Chris Hatcher and Brandon League on the 40-man roster, Santos figures to face an uphill battle in making the Dodgers’ active roster come Opening Day.