The Los Angeles Angels traded right-hander 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 trading the Dominican veteran and cash to the Royals.
“We’re proud to have him, and he certainly fits with what we’re doing in 2013,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said.
Santana has been a fixture in Los Angeles’ rotation since 2005, going 96-80 with a 4.33 earned-run average 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. Santana’s woes and Dan Haren’s similarly slow start were major factors in the Angels’ midseason struggles, forcing Los Angeles to make a trade for Zack Greinke and ultimately keeping them out of the playoffs for the third straight season.
With rising starter Garrett Richards already slated for the Angels’ rotation in 2013, Santana has long realized he might be headed out of Orange County after the season.
“I have to realize that this is a business,” Santana said, citing Kauffman Stadium as one of his favorites in the majors. “They trade me, and 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.”
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 disastrous flameout, going 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in just 12 starts before getting designated for assignment and eventually traded to Colorado.