Royals Acquire Ervin Santana

4:59pm: The Angels are sending $1MM to the Royals, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).

4:15pm: The Angels weren't sure about Ervin Santana, but the Royals want to see if he can re-establish himself as an above-average MLB starter. The Royals acquired Santana and cash from the Angels for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk, the teams announced. The Angels exercised Santana's 2013 option before completing the trade, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).

“We’ve stated all along that starting pitching was a priority this offseason and acquiring someone with the resume of Ervin Santana immediately upgrades our rotation,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement released by the team.

Ervin Santana - Angels (PW)

The Angels had limited interest in exercising Santana's $13MM option option, but the Royals appear to consider it reasonable. The Royals quietly checked in on Santana's medicals yesterday before completing the deal today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).

The 29-year-old posted a 5.16 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 43.2% ground ball rate in 178 innings this past season. Santana's average fastball velocity declined to 91.7 mph, but his swinging strike rate remained constant at 8.4%. He had completed at least 220 innings with ERAs below 4.00 in 2010 and 2011. Rosenthal reported late last night that the Angels were trying to move Santana and Dan Haren.

Sisk, 27, made 50 relief appearances at Triple-A this past season. He posted a 2.54 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 67 1/3 innings — numbers that match up with his career averages through five minor league seasons.

The Royals began the offseason with a clear need for starting pitching. So far they have traded for Santana and claimed Chris Volstad. Volstad remains a non-tender candidate, but Santana will join Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy in the team's projected 2013 rotation. It won't be surprising if GM Dayton Moore continues pursuing starting pitching.

The Royals surely hope this acquisition works out better than the one they made early last offseason. A year ago Kansas City traded Melky Cabrera to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez in a deal that didn't work out for the Royals. To their credit, they did flip Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched well down the stretch. 

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade (on Twitter) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported Sisk's inclusion in the deal (also on Twitter). Jon Heyman of reported two days ago that the Angels were exploring trades involving Santana and Haren. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

121 Responses to Royals Acquire Ervin Santana Leave a Reply

  1. Kyle Smith 3 years ago

    Royals should have gone with Haren :/

    • Haren is too injury prone.

      • csp1212 3 years ago

        How is he injury prone? Haren went on the DL for the first time in his career last season and it was only for 15 days.

      • Injury prone??? You do know that Haren hadn’t been on the disabled list for around 200 consecutive games before this right? He’s been one of the most durable pitchers in the recent era.

      • babaganoosh 3 years ago

        Haren has pitched over 200 innings in the 7 years prior to this one, where he still pitched over 175 innings. How is that injury prone?

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Were you going for an all-time MLBTR record for most thumbs down in one post? You’re well on your way!

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        One injury in his whole career which was last year. Look him up and you’ll see how durable he has been.

      • LayerCake 3 years ago

        I don’t think I have ever seen 100 down votes for one comment. This was quite a Halloween treat

      • Joe Valenti 3 years ago

        yea, him and cal ripken just can’t stay healthy….

      • Sam 3 years ago

        Haren went on the DL for the first time in his career this year for only 15 days… you’re probably confusing him with Harang.

    • Obviously, but you would have to give much more up…

    • Paul W 3 years ago

      Could KC have gotten Haren with just a minor leaguer?

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Yep, Wil Myers would have done it. :-)

        • vtadave 3 years ago

          Thanks for the down arrow. I wasn’t exactly serious here. Heh.
          P.S. Hope to see Myers in RF soon.

  2. Devern Hansack 3 years ago

    These are the type of moves that the Royals should be making. If they can stockpile starting pitching depth, they could be a force in the AL Central in 2013.

    • Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

      No because knowing the Royals then they won’t hit…

  3. EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

    Does this make Haren no longer available. I know the Angels said they’d considered everything. However, this seems to make a Haren deal less likely.

  4. safari_punch 3 years ago

    They pounced on that pretty quick.

    • hefe300 3 years ago

      The deadline to exercise or buy out Santana’s option was today. Haren’s is Friday.

  5. RepOak 3 years ago


  6. jigsawkane 3 years ago

    Good move by the Royals. I fully expect an announcement that Haren is going to the Bronx imminently as well.

  7. Thank you Royals, thought for sure the Sox were gonna trade for him. We just dodged a very inconsistent bullet.

  8. hefe300 3 years ago

    This isn’t a bad gamble for KC, depending on what they gave up. No long term commitment, decent upside…

    • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

      Looks like they are committing $12/M to the gamble.

  9. Frank 3 years ago

    If Ervin Santana gives them 200+ innings with under a 4.00 ERA then this is a good deal. If Royals can hit and add another pitcher? They can def make a playoff run

    • The royals have way too many holes in their lineup to be a contender plus their best pitcher before the trade was Luke Hochevar, that is not a contending team

      • mypoorbuccos 3 years ago

        Felipe Paulino says Hi

      • get_on_up 3 years ago

        what lineup holes are you referring to

      • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

        Do you watch the Royals? The only glaring holes in the lineup, offensively, were Francoeur and whomever played 2B. Granted, Hosmer was disappointing, but he’s going to bounce back. And how do you evaluate Hochevar as their best pitcher before the trade? Hochevar was the worst SP in KC this season. Guthrie, Chen, and Mendoza were all better than Hoch, and Duffy and Paulino were both better before they got hurt, too.

      • tdsmith 3 years ago

        Luke Hochevar is not the best pitcher, and I’ll take Ervin’s name in that rotation over Luke’s any day .

    • Brandon 3 years ago

      Even if he doesn’t do that it’s a good trade. They gave up nobody to get him. Only risk is the fairly high salary. He immediately is the ace of the staff. He’s not a star but there’s a chance he’s a solid #3 and potential #2. Good move KC. Also shows the fans that at least they are trying to add pitching.

      • Devin Ruffner 3 years ago

        which is why i wish the Indians would have made this move…

  10. Sean Feeney 3 years ago

    gotta be for someone in that young pen right??? the only fit…

  11. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    First trade of the off-season for the Royals who have made pitching a priority.

    • Oakland, Arizona and Miami.

      • mmiller54 3 years ago

        He said for the Royals, not the first trade of the off-season.

    • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

      Santana is definitely a gamble but the Royals need to stockple as many arms as they can and Santana if he bounces back could be a nice middle of the rotation arm for them. I understand this move and now wonder what Dan Haren’s future holds in store. They only gave up Brandon Sisk to get this done. Solid deal

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        Stockpiling arms….yes….but a stockpile of garbage is still a stockpile of garbage…..the Royals won’t be a better team by just having 10 mediocre starters on the roster. Creating a battle for a #5 slot is great…but creating a battle for almost every slot in the rotation means there are serious issues.

        • Otis26 3 years ago

          Um…there ARE serious issues.

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            and that is why stockpiling arms won’t really help the Royals…because the arms they would be stockpiling are freely available parts. There’s not necessarily strength in numbers….one top end starter is worth more than four #5 starters posting 5.00 plus eras. All of the lower end salaries add up. It’s time for the Royals to use the farm system to build the major league rotation. The Royals can hit all they want going forward…but any rotation looking like the one they have run out there lately will still lose. The arms are way behind the bats and are no quarantee out of the system. Jeff Hochevar anywhere but the 5 slot means trouble.

  12. 123Redsox 3 years ago

    who do u think they got in return?

  13. Mike1L 3 years ago

    One year, Gil Meche before he got injured numbers for Gil Meche cost. How does that fit their budget?

    • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago


      • Mike1L 3 years ago

        I said that very poorly. Santana isn’t all that much different than Gil Meche through the same age in their career: their similarity scores are quite high. And the cost for one year ($13 Million) is very similar to Meche’s one year contract value. So I thought the mindset of the front office was comparable

  14. Commander_Nate 3 years ago

    Thanks for the no-hitter and the ’05 ALDS, Voodoo.

  15. OsFan106 3 years ago

    Great move for the Royals. Decent upside with Santana. Hopefully they didnt give too much up

  16. Now, trade for the Braves Tommy Hanson … please.

    • Yes gives us Myers!!!!!

    • michael hughes 3 years ago

      Tommy Hanson probably needs major surgery. He’s had a partially torn rotator cuff for a while now and its not getting any better, which probably explains the huge drop off in his average fastball velocity. If the Braves can trade him I’d be a happy Braves fan.

  17. Jon Morosi tweets: Sources: #Angels receive Brandon Sisk in Ervin Santana trade.

  18. ThisGuyRocks 3 years ago

    So far the only name i’ve seen in the return for the Angels is Brandon Sisk. Royals official twitter says Santana and Cash for Sisk

  19. J. C. Hahne 3 years ago

    Apparently the Angels get Brandon Sisk in return per Rosenthal. Not sure who Sisk is, any help Royals fans?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 3 years ago

      Looks like a AAA reliever. 27 years old, never in the majors. Did well but is older

      • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

        Only 3 seasons in the minors at that age…guessing he was picked out of college and it’s about time to see if he can hang in the Majors or not.

        • twentyfivemanroster 3 years ago

          Actually, five seasons. BR has that messed up.

    • ThisGuyRocks 3 years ago

      27 years old. Last season in AAA 2.54 ERA in 50 games (67.1 innings). 73/32 K/BB. For all those sabremetrics, you gotta look them up yourself. 😉

    • john owens 3 years ago

      Well at 27 he couldn’t make the Royals rotation last year, that’s pretty much all you need to know.

      • kdub53 3 years ago

        pretty much sums it up for me

        • kdub53 3 years ago

          i will say though minus the last season i will miss santana…hope things improve for the guy

      • Devin Ruffner 3 years ago

        he is a reliever, so he wouldn’t have made the rotation…

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      Keith Law says he’s basically a lefty specialist who has an okay fastball and a decent slider. Given that he’s 27 and hasn’t made it past AAA, I’d guess the ceiling isn’t very high.

  20. truroyal15
    Chad Woelk 3 years ago

    Good move by the Royals. Was shocked when I heard the news.

  21. $17867741 3 years ago

    How “NBA” of them to pick up an option and trade.

    • HaloeD 3 years ago

      if the halos didnt, santana walks and leaves the halos empty handed. now we atleast got something in return for him

      • $17867741 3 years ago

        That’s true. I’m not saying it’s a bad deal. I’m just saying it resembles a NBA transaction.

  22. SoCalAngelsFan75 3 years ago

    Have fun watching all those homeruns, KC fans…from the opposing team. One of the most frustrating pitchers to watch. Either on or off with no in between.

    • ThisGuyRocks 3 years ago

      “On or off with no in between”….you’ve heard of Luke Hochevar right?

    • Otis26 3 years ago

      You know he plays half his game at Kauffman Stadium right? That place has its own zip code. Will help him a lot, just like it did Guthrie.

  23. Brandon 3 years ago

    If i’m a Royals fan i’m pretty happy. You give up nobody for a guy who has talent. If he sucks this year so be it, one year deal and you cut him loose. Say what you want about Santana but he goes right to the top of the Royals rotation and as everyone knows they desperately need starting help. Good move. Low risk with potential high reward.

    • LightUptheHalo 3 years ago

      If you call $13 million low risk.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        Even with the $1M the Angels are sending along (in small, unmarked bills I hope), that’s still 20% of the entire Royals payroll from last year.

      • Otis26 3 years ago

        You know what the going rate for top FA pitchers is right now? $80 – $100m for 4 to 5 years. Santana fits well with the Royals’ plans to get their in-house pitching in the minors developed.

  24. Contrarian30 3 years ago

    Billy Butler hit his first career home run off Santana. Then in a later game that season, Santana plunked Billy twice in the ribs. I thought Billy was going to kill him. Ever since then, I have hated Santana. Hopefully he can avoid the long ball with KC. Go Royals!

  25. Frank 3 years ago

    Next: Sign Jeff Keppinger to play 2B

  26. bigpat 3 years ago

    Intradesting. He’s one of those every other year kind of starters but they needed something. He could thrive with a change of scenery.

  27. Floyd7070 3 years ago

    Really? The Royals are only getting $ 1 MIL and, if assuming they pick up the option, they are taking a big risk money-wise. I know, stating the obvious, but just sayin’.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      A one-year deal is rarely a “big risk”. What, is this deal going to prevent them from getting the players necessary to win a World Series? Stop-gap/flier…nothing more.

      • Floyd7070 3 years ago

        It’s a $ 12MIL risk. I think that’s big for a team like the Royals and Santana’s likelyhood of being a bust. Pretty expensive stop-gap/flier.

  28. Devin Ruffner 3 years ago

    This is the kind of move the Indians should be making… would have loved to start the offseason going after someone like this. He may be inconsistent, but I have a major soft spot for Ervin.

    • cookmeister 3 years ago

      because you were there when he threw the no-no?

      • Devin Ruffner 3 years ago

        haha, wasn’t there. just always liked his potential… he’s posted an ERA under 4 in three of the last five seasons.

        let’s be real, he would be the best pitcher on the indians’ staff, barring a 180 from Ubaldo or Masterson. and even then, I’d take him as our #3. just want to see them make some moves and not sit silent. at least the royals are taking some initiative.

  29. Wade 3 years ago

    The Royals could always decline Santana’s option and pocket the $1M for Sisk. He looks to be a decent reliever, but who knows. Seems like something AA would do.

    • Jwick22 3 years ago

      The angels exercised option then traded him. Plus they would have to pay the buyout if they did that

      • Wade 3 years ago

        I didn’t catch the first part. Good point on the second though. Thanks

  30. Devon Henry 3 years ago

    Like it, no way were we picking up his option. So we basically got a decent triple A arm for free…and the Royals get 13M committed to false hope. win win

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Still are paying $1M of his salary.

      • mcslimmer 3 years ago

        Would have spent that on his buyout had we declined the option. Like Devon said, we basically got this guy for nothing.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

          And you’re going to find out if he’s worth that much.

  31. Frank 3 years ago

    Wont be surprised if Indians trade for Haren

  32. SpfldCynic 3 years ago

    I like this deal for KC. Good bridge to 2014 when Paulino (hopefully) and Duffy are back to 100% and Odorizzi and maybe Ventura are ready too

  33. rpoabr 3 years ago

    Seems odd this guy doesn’t have any big league innings under his belt. If those stats “match up to his career averages” they are pretty decent!

  34. ChickenNBeer 3 years ago

    Poor Royals.

    • chicothekid 3 years ago

      Guess I’m not the only that immediately thought the Royals got hosed in this deal. The prospect they gave up seemed to be a pretty decent one, and they only got 1M? If the Angels were going to DFA him anyway, that prospect only gave them the rights to his contract at the same rate. Horrible deal. If he became a FA, he wasn’t going to get that much money on a 1 year deal and the Royals could have signed him themselves, cheaper, and kept the prospect.

      Am I missing something here?

      • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

        I think what you’re missing is:
        1) Sisk isn’t that great a prospect. He’s a 27-year-old who hasn’t gotten past AAA and projects no better than an average LOOGY.
        2) KC is a difficult place to lure free agents. There’s no guarantee they could have signed Santana if he had become a free agent.
        3) This is low-risk for KC. Sure, they have to pay him $12M for the next year, but he’s got to be motivated to set himself up for free agency so maybe they catch lightning in a bottle. If not, it’s only one year.

        • twentyfivemanroster 3 years ago

          5 Stars Colin. Some don’t get it

        • chicothekid 3 years ago

          Well then, if it’s that hard for KC to lure FA’s and they want a one year player, I’m sure they could work out a deal for Johan Santana too. They could send a bag of balls to NY and I’m sure Johan is motivated to set himself up for FA so maybe they catch lightning in a bottle there, if not, it’s only one year, and 24M.

        • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

          I believe it’s more than about this one deal, but a series of deals we are going to see for the Royals. I’m inclined to feel that the Royals would love to see a winter where Santana enters the rotation as the #3 starter going into spring training. I wouldn’t rule out a major deal involving Wil Myers to go down.

  35. odaboda 3 years ago

    Change of scenery? Both stadiums have a waterfall in the outfield where his pitches will land.

  36. Guest 3 years ago

    Brilliant, we picked up a minor league reliever and cash to throw at Greinke and didn’t have to pay Santana’s opt out fee. Well played DiPoto

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      They sent $1M to KC with Santana. That was his opt-out fee, so they essentially still paid it.

  37. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    This is one of those trades I like to see…it seems to help both teams. KC gets a starter with upside, LAA gets some financial flexibility. Win-win. I hope it works out for both sides, but maybe just a little bit better for KC. 😉

  38. Nathan Fenstemaker 3 years ago

    He almost always threw well against Detroit, so I’m glad he is going to a team that Detroit probably won’t face in the playoffs next season.

    • Nathan Miller⚾™ 3 years ago

      Ya I’d hate for the Tigers to have to choke against Santana just like they did against the whole Giants staff

  39. PWNdroia 3 years ago

    Royals: always getting those “could be” players that never pan out

  40. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    Interesting that the royals were willing to spend 12mm on a pitcher for one season. You have to wonder if this is the start of a series of movies to make that staff better. Perhaps guys like Sanchez could be in the mix. An interesting cash dump by the deep pocket Angels however.

  41. Fishman27 3 years ago

    Yea i would of paid a bit more for haren

  42. Micah Reed 3 years ago

    I don’t like this move. There is not a lot of teams that would be willing to pay Ervin Santana 12 million. I would put his value somewhere between 6 and 8 million.

  43. soxfan123123 3 years ago

    The sox will trade you Gavin Floyd for Mike Moustakas!

  44. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    What this does say is that Kansas City has money to spend.

    • HaloeD 3 years ago

      blowing 12mil on a ervin isnt the wisest of investments. he probably wouldve gone for 5-8 mil a year on the open market

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        Completely agree..but to be fair..he wasn’t going to go to KC for 5-8. My concern is that the Royal front office will cling too hard to their prospects and not deal for a front end starter. Santana needs to be a #3 starter. They can pile on as much offense as they wish…but the arms aren’t there in the system yet.
        The Royals claim they can’t spend money…but spending $12 on a #3 starter indicates otherwise. Moore isn’t the most nuanced and subtle GM in the game…and this is likely the first of several moves they are going to try and make. It might sound illogical, but I really do see them making a move at David Price….or the like. I think we really will see them deal a major young prospect.

  45. tdsmith 3 years ago

    I like the move …. and it’s only a few days after the World Series, Give Dayton a chance …The best thing listed above is No Luke Hochevar listed in that 2013 rotation !!! :o)

  46. mmiller54 3 years ago

    He may have been asking for more than the numbers provide (like a scouting report, ect. of a fan that is really into the minors).

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