Written by Travis Vandenbrand
Belive it or not, the Kansas City Royals are involved in the first official “splash” of the 2013 MLB offseason. The Los Angeles Angels sent Ervin Santana and his $13 milliona dollar price tag to the Royals for lefthanded reliever Brandon Sisk.
The Royals starting pitching in 2012 was an absolute disaster. It’s a shame because the rest of their roster is rounding into a pretty good ball club. Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen started the most games for KC in 2012 and they both carried an ERA north of 5.00. In fact, Hochevar received the dubious honour of giving up the most earned runs this past season. Their starters are bad but there are a couple bright spots. Jeremy Guthrie and Luis Mendoza performed well down the stretch and, if they both stick around, could provide good middle of the rotation depth. Santana will provide a front of the rotation-type arm after an up and down career in Los Angeles. The new scenery may be what Santana needs to revive what looked to be a very promising career. This is the last year of his contract so he will have an added incentive to produce going into free agency next offseason. The Royals are hoping that they can get a solid season out of the soon to be 30 year old so they can challenge for a Central Division crown in 2013. Their line-up is already one of the best young group of players in baseball which includes Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Billy Butler. KC also has a couple of the best outfield prospects in baseball in Bubba Starling and Wil Myers. This move is risky but it carries no long-term commitment so the reward could outweigh the risk. The Royals also received $1 million dollars from the Angels.
The Angels have a bunch of hefty contracts with their pitchers and they aren’t receiving the production they should at that position. Zack Greinke, CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and Danny Haren make up a pretty impressive staff. Santana was basically the 5th starter in that bunch and he was taking home $13 million dollars to do so. The former 5th starter will immediately jump to the top of the Royal’s staff. The Angels faced two team option contracts this offseason, Santana and Haren. If Santana was not traded, he would have definitely been bought out by the Angels for an amount of $1 million dollars. That money was sent to KC as part of the trade but they also acquired a lefthanded reliever in Brandon Sisk. Sisk, 27 years old, has never pitched in a MLB game but he will have the opportunity to compete for a bullpen spot with the Angels in training camp. He must be added to the 40 man roster or he will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. There is a chance you may never hear Sisk’s name again but at least the Angels will receive something for letting Santana go.
Kansas City Royals – Winners. The Royals take a chance on a veteran pitcher who still has great ability in a contract year. If Santana wants to get paid in 2014, he will be a solid contributor at the top of the Royals rotations.
Los Angeles Angels – Winners. The Angels are considered winners for actually finding a team willing to take on the underachiever’s contract. They didn’t receive much in return but at least it’s something compared to the alternative of buying him out. The Angels should be considered losers for even signing this ridiculous deal though.