Very recently, the Braves have run up against injury concerns regarding two core members of the rotation, Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy. With Freddy Garcia and Gavin Floyd as fall-backs, depth is obviously a concern. That's why the Braves may be trying to sign free agent right-hander Ervin Santana. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes:
About Santana: Initially I didn't think there was anything to the idea of the Braves pursuing him, but now with Beachy having more issues (he left today's start against the Phillies after two innings due to biceps tightness), I'm hearing from a person connected to the Royals that the Braves are making a run at the free agent. How serious that is, I don't know yet.
As O'Brien notes, the Braves have a budget, and it's not certain whether Santana will fit within it, especially now that his market may be heating up a bit (recently, our own Jon Heyman reported that the Blue Jays and Orioles were both angling to sign Santana to a one-year deal). Still, the Braves may be getting desperate, and Santana pretty clearly is the best free agent option out there at this late hour.
Santana, age 31, is coming off a nice bounce-back season with the Royals: 211 IP, 3.24 ERA, 127 ERA+, 3.16 K/BB ratio. For his career, Santana owns an ERA+ of 100 with a K/BB of 2.52 across parts of nine major-league seasons. In 2008 he finished sixth in the AL Cy Young balloting and made the All-Star team as a member of the Angels.