Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Ervin Santana Still Wanted By The Kansas City Royals


Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


Don’t count the Kansas City Royals out of the Ervin Santana sweepstakes just yet. At least not according to Jon Heyman, the CBSSports.com baseball insider.

According to Heyman, the Royals are one of several teams, including the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, Rockies, and Indians still with strong interest in Santana, plus a number of unnamed teams.

Since the signing of Bruce Chen, it hasn’t appeared as if the Royals were looking at Santana for anymore other than a way to acquire a draft pick from the team that signs him. The Royals rotation and bullpen are already extremely crowded with expensive options, and while it is obvious Santana would be better than most of the pitchers slated to start, it is hard to imagine Kansas City shelling out any kind of multiple year deal for him now.

Santana had a career year for the Royals in 2013, producing a 3.24 ERA, which was helped along by a top notch defense, still relatively intact, and a big ball park, which helped his tendency to give up the long balls.

Still, it is doubtful he could match those numbers in 2014, for the Royals or any other team. No teams have been very aggressive in pursuing his services at the price it is thought he wanted early on, around $100 million for 6 or 7 years.

Now Santana is probably hoping to get what Matt Garza got from the Brewers – 4 years, $50 million. If that’s the deal he ends up with, it won’t be with the Royals. It would be surprising if the Royals signed him for more than 2 years, say $30 million, and even then, that is a stretch for a Royals team thought to be maxed out on payroll.

Santana is one of two pitchers that still could help ball clubs. Ubaldo Jimenez is still looking for work, and he is a riskier option than Santana. Both will find work eventually, but the where is still very much uncertain.

If Santana signs elsewhere, the Royals still receive a compensatory draft pick, but that won’t help them win in 2014. The Royals should still pursue Santana, and see if they can get lucky. If they could sign him, they would almost have to trade Luke Hochevar ($5.21 million) or Wade Davis ($4.8) to fray some of the costs, but it will be difficult to find takers for those pitchers at those prices.

It is good to hear the Royals are still active, even if it is in a small way. Don’t hold you breath, Royals fans. It will take plenty of cash, and the Royals apparently are out of that right now. We shall see if they truly think they can win this season. If they somehow sign Santana, the answer will be yes.

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Tags: Ervin Santana Kansas City Royals MLB Rumors

  • jimfetterolf

    Royals can sign him if the years are short enough, a bigger problem than salary. If they want him. Steamer and Oliver have him dropping off from 10%-50% and apparently major league teams agree that he’s not going to be a high #2 starter this year, so look at other options. I’ld keep Hoch, Davis, and Chen over re-signing Santana even for a year, much less three or four. Santana’s best bet might be to take a pillow contract from Dayton Moore with lots of incentives to establish consistency. Pretty obvious he should have taken the QO.

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    Santana’s best bet is a cheap 1 year contract. That way the other teams can see if last year was a lucky year or his usual pattern. I would love to see him back in KC but I highly doubt we are anywhere close to getting him back, especially with the Chen signing.

  • Wally Kelly

    The LAA let him go….lol. They also traded Mike Napoli for Vernon Wells!!! And gave away JEAN SEGURA to “rent” Zack Greinke!!!

  • Tony Byergo

    Can he still take the qualifying offer at $14.1m? That might work for him and the Royals.