Angels ship RHP Ervin Santana to Royals in trade

Angels ship RHP Ervin Santana to Royals in trade

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels traded pitcher Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk.

The Angels exercised Santana's $13 million option for next season before sending the 2008 All-Star and $1 million to the Royals.

``We're proud to have him, and he certainly fits with what we're doing in 2013,'' Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore said.

Santana has been a fixture in Los Angeles' rotation since 2005, going 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA while starting at least 23 games in eight consecutive seasons. He has spent his entire career with the Angels, who signed him as a free agent in 2000 and nurtured his development into a solid starter of 96 games over the past three years.

But Santana struggled for much of last season, going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA while giving up a major league-worst 39 homers despite significant improvements over the final two months.

``I have to realize that this is a business,'' Santana said, citing Kauffman Stadium as one of his favorite ballparks in the majors. ``I just have to accept it and move on. It's going to be hard because I've known my teammates for a long time, but now I'm going to have new teammates. I can't wait to meet them in person and hang out.''

Santana's woes and Dan Haren's similarly slow start were major factors in the Angels' midseason struggles, prompting them to make a trade for Zack Greinke and ultimately keeping them out of the playoffs for the third straight season.

``I don't have any physical problems,'' Santana said. ``Everything was good. I just have bad luck. I was pitching good, and I didn't have the opportunity to win a lot of games.''

With rising starter Garrett Richards already slated for the Angels' rotation in 2013 alongside ace Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and hopefully Greinke, Santana has long realized he might be headed out of Orange County.

``Ervin had a lot of really great moments with the Angels, and has always been an Angel,'' said Los Angeles GM Jerry Dipoto, who just finished his first season with the club. ``This is just the start of something new for Ervin, and we wish him well.''

In their annual hunt for starting pitching, the Royals made a similar deal last November for Jonathan Sanchez, giving up Melky Cabrera for the San Francisco starter who was expected to anchor their rotation. But Sanchez was a complete flameout, going 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 12 starts before getting designated for assignment and eventually traded to Colorado.

Moore wasn't shy about dealing for Santana with just a year left on his contract, saying he hadn't discussed a long-term extension with the right-hander.

``We were able to scout Ervin during the entire year, specifically the second half,'' Moore said. ``His August and September were really good. From a statistical standpoint, he was very good.''

Santana, who will turn 30 in December, has shown moments of brilliance in his career, which includes three seasons with at least 16 victories and an All-Star selection. He threw a no-hitter in 2011 and a one-hitter last season, yet confounded the Angels with his inconsistencies in 2012.

``Ervin struggled out of the chute,'' Dipoto said. ``I think his struggles were more relative to his command than his physical stuff. Once he determined that his issue was command, he throttled back his fastball a little bit and tried to gain command of his slider and pitched very well for us. To say Ervin's season was a failure would be unfair. Ervin's season was very uneven, and he took it down the stretch and gave us an opportunity to be in the race until the final week of the season.''

The Angels are more interested in developing Richards and attempting to re-sign Greinke, who went 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA during his impressive but brief stint with Los Angeles.

The Angels haven't announced whether they'll pick up Haren's $15.5 million option for next season before Friday's deadline, and Dipoto gave no hints Wednesday. The club is thought to be shopping Haren, who had a career-worst 4.33 ERA and spent time on the disabled list for the first time.

Sisk spent last season with Triple-A Omaha, going 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA and eight saves. He's pitching in the Venezuelan winter league and has never pitched in the majors, but Dipoto is eager to see what the 27-year-old can do in spring training.

Los Angeles could use any bullpen help after a mostly dismal season.

``He's always had the deceptive ability to miss bats,'' Dipoto said. ``He's done it at every minor league level, and hasn't had the opportunity to showcase it in the big leagues. We don't know if that's going to happen. Worst-case scenario is we're building much-needed depth and building toward creating a little bigger fishnet (in the minors).''

Quick Links

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

USA Today Sports

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.

Quick Links

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

In case you missed it