5 Most Important Kansas City Royals in 2013

5 of 6

Kansas City Royals pitcher Ervin Santana (54) Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

2- ERVIN SANTANA: Even Dayton Moore could not have dreamed that Ervin Santana would be as good as he was in 2013 when Moore traded for him. The former Angel overcame some of his issues with the long ball to become a reliable, tough, starting pitcher for the Royals in 2013.

After surrendering a league high 39 home runs in 2012, Santana was able to rein that issue in, and gave up only 26 for the Royals, much more in line to his career average. He featured a terrific slider that when it was on, hitters looked completely fooled by it.

Santana produced a career low ERA of 3.24, and a sparkling 1.142 WHIP. He worked 211 innings and struck out 161. He was a second ace for the Royals, and he solidified a strong rotation by being even better than hoped.

He displayed no attitude problems while with the Royals, and was unflappable on the mound, the ultimate professional.

While it is still possible, but unlikely, that the Royals can resign Santana, it is also unlikely he can match his terrific 2013 season. He still would be a welcome piece of the puzzle if the Royals could re-sign him.

Santana was everything the Royals hoped he would be, and much, much more, and was a big reason for the Royals 2013 success.