At the moment that Ervin Santana turned down his qualifying offer, it seemed as though there was no chance that he would return to the Kansas City Royals. When word came out about the type of contract that Santana was seeking, a six year deal worth $100 Million, that thought became a virtual certainty. No matter how well Santana performed in Kansas City, and even if he wanted to come back, there was no way that the Royals would spend that type of money on a player.
Yet, as the days turned into weeks and the weeks stretched into months, Santana was still available. Perhaps it was due to the qualifying offer and subsequent draft pick compensation. Or, maybe that was due to the unfolding Masahiro Tanaka saga. The wait could also have been due to Santana’s very roller coasteresque performance over the past seven years. Regardless of the reason, the longer Santana remained a free agent, the greater the chances became that he could actually return to Kansas City.
However, those hopes appear to have been dashed. While Ervin Santana has reportedly come closer to signing, the Royals are not one of the three or four teams that are considered to be in the running for his services. In fact, according to Santana’s agent, Jay Alou, the Royals have not been in contact with him for some time.
“I just think they have their (rotation) set with the guys they already signed,” Alou said. “I think the main thing is they just ran out of money.”
It may be possible for the Royals to find the money needed for Santana’s expected asking price of $42 Million over the next three years. Emilio Bonifacio was released, clearing up some money. If Dayton Moore can
con someone somehow trade Wade Davis, then the Royals may be able to emerge with Santana. After all, his agent did not rule out such a possibility.
However, Alou leaving the door open for Ervin Santana to return to Kansas City is likely nothing more than posturing, trying to get the thought of a potential return implanted into the mind of some general manager to try to get as much money as possible. Ervin Santana just is not walking through that door when the Royals pitchers and catchers report on February 14th.
From the looks of things, Ervin Santana will know where he will be pitching in the near future. However, it is relatively certain that it will not be in Kansas City.