Recent reports that the Royals are willing to listen to offers for Ervin Santana have changed the landscape of the trade market, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the asking price on Santana is sky-high. Interested parties may have to be willing to part with more than the Rangers did for Matt Garza, and the Royals are seeking Major-League-ready talent in any trade (Twitter links). As Rosenthal points out, teams have expressed serious reluctance to part with significant talent to acquire rentals.
The Rangers gave up third baseman Mike Olt along with right-handers C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm as well as a player to be named later (that could end up being Neil Ramirez). According to Baseball America, Olt entered the season as Texas' No. 2 prospect (and the No. 22 prospect in baseball), while Grimm ranked fifth, Edwards ranked 14th and Ramirez ranked 23rd.
The Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Pirates and Athletics are just some of the teams that have been linked to starting pitching in recent days. Santana is earning $13MM in 2013, so he's owed roughly $4.69MM over the remainder of the season, after which he will be eligible for free agency. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, an acquiring team would not be able to make a qualifying offer and receive draft pick compensation, though the Royals certainly will do so if they hang onto him.
The 30-year-old Santana been brilliant thus far after being traded by the Angels in what was essentially a salary dump, posting a 3.06 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 138 1/3 innings.