In case you missed it, the Kansas City Royals dealt a minor league player to the Los Angeles Angels for right handed pitcher Ervin Santana. Sure, this isn’t a blockbuster deal or even a major deal by any stretch. However, it hopefully sends a signal to the Royals players and their fans that ownership is trying to get better after what has to be considered a disappointing 2012. I also hope that general manager Dayton Moore is right and that KC will not stop with this trade. I would like them to acquire at least two more significant players to greatly bloster last season’s 72 win output.
Why this interest in the Royals? Well, I grew up loving baseball in the late 70’s and 80’s when Kansas City was considered one of the model franchises in the game. They had big-times stars such as Frank White, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson, Dan Quisenberry and of course the incomparable, New York Yankee-killing Hall of Famer George Brett. Between 1976 and 1985, the team won seven division championships, two American League pennants and the 1985 World Series. Unfortunately since that title, KC has registered only seven winning seasons and only one year (2003) over .500 the past 16 seasons. With everyday players such as Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez the nucleus is there for some special things. Now management needs to focus on the pitching staff. I would love to see one of the franchises I grew up admiring and loathing at the same time get back to its former glory. The Baltimore Orioles did it in 2012. It would be nice to see the Royals enjoy similar success in 2013.
Much like they did before 2012 with Jonathan Sanchez, the Royals made a trade for a talented but up-and-down pitcher in the soon-to-be 30-year old Santana. The career record of 96-80 is nothing to sneeze at but the 4.33 ERA is a little high. He has won 16 or more games three times and also hurled a no-hitter on July 27th, 2011 against the Cleveland Indians. Last year wasn’t so kind to Santana with a 9-13 record and a 5.16 ERA, nearly two runs higher than 2011. If he could revert to his 2010 form (17-10, 3.92 ERA) it would go a long way in helping KC make a return trip to the playoffs. In order for that to happen, the wheeling and dealing has to continue right through Spring Training.