Right-hander Ervin Santana is returning to the majors for the first time since 2019. The Royals selected the veteran’s contract, placed righty Josh Staumont on the IL for an undisclosed reason, recalled righty Tyler Zuber and optioned infielder/outfielder Ryan McBroom, Anne Rogers of MLB.com tweets.
Santana pitched for five big league teams, including the Royals, from 2005-19, and typically produced solid results while eating up a significant number of innings. The 38-year-old has six seasons of 200-plus innings under his belt, 2,421 in total, as well as a 4.09 ERA. While with the Royals in 2013, he fired 211 innings of 3.24 ERA ball, though Santana then rejected KC’s qualifying offer and went through a prolonged stay in free agency before signing with the Braves.
Santana lasted just one year in Atlanta before joining Minnesota, with which he delivered quality seasons in 2016-17. However, a middle finger injury limited Santana to five starts, 24 2/3 innings and an ugly 8.03 ERA. He continued to struggle during his most recent action, as he recorded a 9.45 ERA in three starts and 13 1/3 frames as a member of the White Sox. Santana finished the year in the Mets organization, but he didn’t pitch for them that season, and he sat out 2020 before signing a minors pact with the Royals.
Santana has started in 384 of 387 appearances, though it remains to be seen which role he’ll fill now. Notably, Royals starters have put up a 5.56 ERA – the sixth-worst mark in baseball.