On Wednesday, the Royals made a very swift and potentially impactful addition to their starting rotation, acquiring veteran right-hander Ervin Santana from the Angels in exchange for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk.
The Angels first had to exercise Santana’s $13 million option for the 2013 season, and will cover $1 million of that salary as part of the trade agreement.
Santana was originally signed by the Angels as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2000, and spent his entire career in their organization. He made 233 starts over his eight-year tenure, compiling a 96-80 record, 4.33 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 1167/475 K/BB ratio.
He has shown stretches of brilliance, finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young voting in 2008, and no-hitting the Indians during the 2011 season. Unfortunately, he’s also shown the ability to be miserable, three different times posting full-season ERA’s above 5.00, and surrendering an unfathomable league-high 39 home runs in 2012.
The starting rotation has long been a problem area for the Royals, and the 2012 season was no different. Over 890 innings, Kansas City starters compiled a horrifying 5.01 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and allowed a batting average against of .283. In that vein, the acquisition makes a tremendous amount of sense from their perspective. The risk is purely monetary on their end, and they gain a strong innings eater who has shown the capability for dominance.
It’s also an understandable move from the Angels side, as they had no intention of keeping Santana. Had they not been able to work out a trade, they would have surely declined his option, being on the hook for just his $1 million buyout. Instead, they get to add potential depth to their bullpen with Sisk.
Sisk, a career minor-leaguer, posted a 2.54 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 3/32 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings at Triple-A Omaha this past season. The 27-year-old left-hander should compete for a spot in the Angels bullpen during spring training.
Haren Expected to be Dealt by Friday
It appears as though dealing one high-priced veteran starter isn’t enough for GM Jerry Dipoto and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Angels are also expected to trade Dan Haren by Friday.
The Friday deadline looms due to the fact that they must decide by then whether or not to pick up Haren’s $15.5 million option for 2013. In dealing Haren and Ervin Santana, the Angels are attempting to free up salary in an effort to retain Zack Greinke.
The 32-year-old Haren is coming off the worst full-season of his professional career, posting a 4.33 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 142/38 K/BB ratio over 176 2/3 innings. He also spent time on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to lower back stiffness.
Still, he has proven to be one of the most dominating and durable starters in the league over the last eight seasons. In that stretch, he averaged 220 innings per season while posting a 113-87 record, 3.58 ERA and 1.165 WHIP.
While the Santana trade didn’t deliver much of a return, Haren should be able to bring some quality pieces back in return. If they are unable to find a suitor, they’d have to pay his $3.5 million buyout if electing to decline the option. It’s also worth noting that Haren has a limited no-trade clause that blocks deals to 12 teams.
Trout Absent Among Gold Glove Winners
Major League Baseball announced the 2012 Gold Glove winners on Tuesday, and one player noticeably absent from the award winners seemed to be Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout. Beginning this season, the award has been separated to each of the three different outfield positions, rather than simply three outfielders. In the past, three centerfielders could win the award, but that is no longer the case. Trout had a phenomenal season defensively, alternating between center and left field and making just four errors in 347 chances. While he isn’t among the winners this season, there is assuredly a Gold Glove or four in his future.
Now, onto the winners! (The number of times they have won the award in parentheses):
C: Matt Wieters (2)
1B: Mark Teixeira (5)
2B: Robinson Cano (2)
SS: J.J. Hardy (1)
3B: Adrian Beltre (4)
LF: Alex Gordon (2)
CF: Adam Jones (2)
RF: Josh Reddick (1)
P: Jeremy Hellickson (1), Jake Peavy (1)
C: Yadier Molina (5)
1B: Adam LaRoche (1)
2B: Darwin Barney (1)
SS: Jimmy Rollins (4)
3B: Chase Headley (1)
LF: Carlos Gonzalez (2)
CF: Andrew McCutchen (1)
RF: Jason Heyward (1)
P: Mark Buehrle (4)
Rafael Soriano opts out of contract
Yankees closer Rafael Soriano exercised the opt-out clause in his contract with the Yankees on Wednesday, making him a free agent. Soriano declined his $14 million option, electing instead to take a $1.5 million buyout and test the open market.
The veteran right-hander filled in admirably in Mariano Rivera’s absence this season, compiling a 2.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 69/24 K/BB ratio while converting 42 of his 46 save opportunities.
Though he’ll be 33 next season, Soriano is allegedly seeking a four-year contract this offseason. He’s proven to be extremely successful and durable over the last four years though, and should draw plenty of attention on the open market.
The Yankees are likely to make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million, which would provide them with draft pick compensation if he does choose to sign elsewhere.
National League Quick Hits: Ryan Ludwick declined his $5 million mutual option with the Reds, electing to test free agency… According to Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angeles, the Dodgers have made acquiring James Shields a top target this offseason… Brett Jackson is expected to begin the 2013 season at Triple-A Iowa… As anticipated, the Reds declined Ryan Madson’s $11 million option for 2013, though they remain interested in bringing him back at a lesser rate… Jorge De La Rosa exercised his $11 million option with the Rockies for 2013… The Pirates exercised Pedro Alvarez’s $700,000 option for 2013… The Pirates declined Rod Barajas’ $3.5 million option, making him a free agent… The Astros declined Chris Snyder’s option after an extremely disappointing season… The Diamondbacks declined options on Henry Blanco and Matt Lindstrom… Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon interviewed for the Marlins’ managerial job on Tuesday… The Pirates have hired Jay Bell as their new hitting coach… Brandon League re-signed with the Dodgers for three years and $22.5 million… The Mets exercised their 2013 options on David Wright and R.A. Dickey.
American League Quick Hits: The Yankees have shown interest in impending free agent Torii Hunter… The Rays declined Luke Scott’s $6 million club option making him a free agent… The Rays exercised their options on Fernando Rodney, James Shields and Jose Molina… The Royals declined their $8 million option on Joakim Soria, though they’ve expressed interest in bringing him back at a lesser salary… The Indians declined their 2013 team options on Travis Hafner and Roberto Hernandez… The Indians exercised Ubaldo Jimenez’s $5.75 million option for 2013… The Orioles declined Mark Reynolds’ $11 million option for 2013… The Blue Jays exercised Darren Oliver’s $3 million option for 2013, though the 42-year-old is reportedly leaning towards retirement… The Blue Jays re-signed Rajai Davis to a one-year, $2.5 million contract… The Indians sent Kevin Slowey outright to Triple-A Columbus… The Twins are expected to non-tender Alexi Casilla… The Indians announced Wednesday that Sandy Alomar Jr. will serve as the bench coach for manager Terry Francona… The Yankees returned Rule 5 pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals… Casey McGehee has elected to become a free agent… White Sox GM Rick Hahn hasn’t ruled out re-signing Kevin Youkilis.