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Option trading: Royals acquire Ervin Santana from Angels

Oct 31, 2012, 5:01 PM EDT

Ervin Santana Getty Images

This week the Angels have reportedly been shopping Ervin Santana and Dan Haren as they face big-money option decisions on both pitchers and according to Ken Rosenthal of they’ve found a taker for Santana in the Royals.

No word yet on the return coming back to the Angels, but don’t expect it to be much. Santana’s option is for $13 million and he was pretty terrible for much of this year, finishing with a 5.16 ERA in 30 starts. And simply by trading Santana instead of declining his option the Angels saved a $1 million buyout.

Within his overall inconsistency Santana has often shown the ability to be a front-line starter, but he’s always struggled to limit homers and at this point he’s a 30-year-old with a 4.33 career ERA. For a one-year pickup he’s a decent gamble for the pitching-starved Royals, even if the price is a bit much.

UPDATE: Jon Morosi of reports that the Angels will receive left-hander Brandon Sisk, a 27-year-old Triple-A reliever. In other words, a non-prospect.

UPDATE II: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels exercised Santana’s $13 million option before the trade and will cover $1 million of it. So the Royals will pay him $12 million.

  1. royalsfaninfargo - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    If they do this I hope it works out better than the Sanchez trade last off season.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Definitely in the same vein. Take a guy who is sometimes great, sometimes awful, and often in-between and see what you get out of him on a one-year gamble. Best case scenario, he’s great and you either re-sign him or you flip him at the deadline. Worst-case scenario you’re out a ton of cash that you’d have probably wasted signing Jeremy Guthrie to a multi-year deal or something…but you’re only out that money in one shot.

  2. groundruledoublebourbon - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Why, God? Dan Haren’s asking price must have been too high.

    • groundruledoublebourbon - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      Ok, I’m better with it knowing we’re only shipping Sisk over. Having Santana eat up a big chunk of the small payroll hurts any chance we had of landing an impact free agent arm, one would think.
      But, that’s, like . . . my opinion, man.

  3. timmons94 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Great move by Dayton. He doesn’t make many. Love this one

    • seattlej - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:52 PM


    • astrofaninkc - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      You’re the first person I’ve ever encountered that seems to “trust the process.”

  4. prosourcetalk - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Props to randall351 for calling this earlier today

  5. nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    OH SHIT, didn’t see that coming. Well, we needed warm bodies out there…

  6. randall351 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:22 PM


    Well at least it’s not quite as horrible as I was thinking it would be, at least they only gave up someone I’ve never heard of.

    Thankfully the Royals have a pitching coach renowned for his ability to make pitchers better…oh wait.

    • cur68 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Kaufman. Kaufman will make him better. Its a log way to hit a homer there.

      • mirmz - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        Yeah, because Angel Stadium is a heavenly park for power hitters.

      • cur68 - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        The question is: will he better off with allowing HRs at Kauffman than at Angels Stadium?
        HRs Allowed (2012) Angel stadium = 1.99
        HRs Allowed (2012) Kauffman = 1.84

        Meh, minor park effect, but Kauffman gives up fewer HRs. Another thing to consider: how did team pitching stack up?

        Angels’ Team ERA 2012: 4.02, 186 HRs
        Royals’ Team ERA 2012: 4.30, 163 HRs

        So lessee: with a worse team ERA there were STILL fewer home runs allowed at Kauffman and by Royals Staff. Therefore he’ll be better as a Royal with half his games at Kauffman than Angels Stadium, insofar as allowing HRs go. That’s something, right?

      • mirmz - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        A tad confused here. ESPN Park Factor has Angel stadium as 25th hardest to hit a homerun, Kauffman is all the way up at 16. According to their metrics, Kauffman actually benefits homerun hitters more than it benefits pitchers, where as Angel stadium gives the inherent advantage to the pitcher.

        Fact of the matter is, dude gave up 39 homeruns last year. If he keeps throwing meatballs, it won’t matter what stadium he calls home.

      • cur68 - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

        What happened last season in the respective parks with the respective pitching staffs is what I’m on about. One set of pitchers (Angels) were better while giving up more homers. The other set (Royals) were worse while giving up fewer. Lets just cast the Royal’s fans a bone here, ok? Santana might be better off in Kauffman insofar as HRs go. That is all.

  7. js20011041 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I’m not sure what to make of this trade. I don’t really see a middle ground here. I think it’s either going to be a spectacular success or it’s going to be Jonathan Sanchez all over again.

  8. sportsdrenched - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    The important part of this trade is the Royals only gave up Storm Chaser depth, and depth that no one was going to miss in KC.

    Angels wanted to salary dump, and the Royals took it on.

    Sad part is, if he’s even his medicore self he should beat out Hochaver for the OD Starter.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    That picture is screaming for a Caption: “God, why have I been traded to Kansas City?”

    • albertmn - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Really? He gets paid his $13 million option instead of his $1 million buyout. Do you think he even cares where he pitches, when it comes with more than he would have likely gotten as a FA? Besides, while I’m not from KC, it does seem like a pretty nice place.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        Lighten up Francis, it’s a joke. Also, at this point the guy has earned more than $30MM smackers, no matter where he pitches he’ll keep earning tons of money, option or buyout makes no difference. So it’s the other way around. I think he cares more about where he pitches; given a choice, would you rather pitch with the perennial contender that drafted you or one that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since 1985 and is not looking like it will get there anytime soon?

      • geoknows - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        You know what? That joke is really tired and really old. Give it a rest.

  10. echech88 - Oct 31, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Pretty admirable move by the Angels GM even if Sisk predictably makes no impact.

    They were going to decline his option for $1M anyway so they basically got to roll the dice on a lefty for free.

  11. cosanostra71 - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    good move by the Angels. Santana had some good moments for us, but it was time to move on. Good luck in Kansas City, hopefully Sisk can be a contributor in some way.

  12. fuddpucker - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Good to see KC is still losing good pitchers (Greinke, Guthrie) and constantly going out and getting other teams table scraps.

    Way to run a franchise Mr. Glass and Mr. Moore.

    • albertmn - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Greinke phoned in his last season in KC. They couldn’t have kept him long term, regardless of the money. Besides, with the exception of his Cy Young season (2009), Greinke has been good, but not spectacular. No other All Star appearances or Cy Young votes other than ’09.

  13. weaselpuppy - Oct 31, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Guthrie came to KC as a HR prone lifetime ERA 4.30 guy….and put up half a season of 3.12? I like Ervin’s chances of turning in a 180 IP of 3.80 ERA, which would make him the best thing on a mound in KC besides an almond in half a decade….$13m sucks, but KC can’t attract top tier pitchers yet w/o some hope of turning in a winning season. This is a start to getting there in 2013. They need another arm or two (Odorizzi and a trade?), Wil Myers to turn in a ROY season and some bounce back from Hosmer….which is not probable, but possible. The Indians are crap, the Twins look like 90+ game losers as far as the eye can see….I can see 81 wins for KC in 2013 if I squint hard enough….

  14. jsally430 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Jonathan Sanchez anyone?

  15. 13arod - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    if i was the royals i would have got dan and santana

  16. blacksables - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Last I checked, the Royals had a boatload of pitching prospects in Omaha.

    But Moore’s philosophy has always been to overpay a guy who can’t pitch in the majors while ignoring the young talent he is supposedly a wiz at drafting.

    Good thing Dan Glass is an idiot, or he might actually fire his GM for incompetence.

    • geoknows - Nov 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Check again. Not really. Not in Omaha. And none of them are ready, not even Odorizzi.

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