Sep 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Ervin Santana (54) delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Ervin Santana Has Signed with the Atlanta Braves

Sep 14, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) walks off the field after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Ervin Santana is not walking through that door.

Finally, the saga has ended. Unfortunately, as we all likely expected, Santana will not be returning to the Kansas City Royals. Instead, he has signed a one year, $14 Million contract with the Atlanta Braves, a contract which is expected to be announced on Wednesday.

For Atlanta, the signing of Ervin Santana helps shore up a pitching staff that has been riddled by injuries throughout Spring Training. Thus far, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy have all been injured, with Medlen potentially in need of Tommy John surgery. The Braves other free agent signing for their rotation, Gavin Floyd, is coming off Tommy John surgery himself, and may not be back until late May. With the plethora of injuries to their rotation, Santana was a piece that the Braves sorely needed.

For Santana, the wait is finally over. After threatening to sit out until after the MLB Amateur Draft, he has gotten the one year deal that he sought once it became apparent that he would not get the type of commitment, in terms of years and dollar amount, that he felt he was worth. Now, he gets to attempt to prove that his stellar 2013 season for the Royals was not a fluke. If he can do that, then perhaps Santana gets the long term contract that he so desperately wanted.

For the Royals, they get that coveted draft pick. Since the Braves had not signed any free agents tied to draft pick compensation, the Royals get a second first round pick, the 28th selection. Kansas City now has four of the first 58 picks in this year’s draft, which could potentially result in a future windfall of talent for the major league roster. Moore now has a chance to keep that pipeline of talent going, and could possibly fulfill his dream of building a team almost exclusively from within. It would almost seem as though everyone wins, right?

Wrong. The Royals may feel as though they won, but in reality, they have not. Ervin Santana signed for the same amount as the qualifying offer that he rejected. Yes, the Royals signed Jason Vargas, but it is highly unlikely that he produces the same type of season that Santana did last year. With Kansas City on the cusp of playoff contention, and a starting rotation made up of fourth starters once you get past James Shields, the Royals needed another potential top of the rotation starter. Instead, David Glass saves a few bucks and the Royals get a draft pick. Let the parade begin!

We all knew this was coming. We all knew, deep down, that Ervin Santana was not going to return to the Royals. Yet, there was still that faint glimmer of hope the longer he remained a free agent. Now, that hope has been completely dashed. Will the Royals playoff hopes be dashed as well?

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Tags: Ervin Santana Kansas City Royals

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    I happy Santana finally got a deal done. I don’t care that it was the same the the Royals offered him, I’m just happy the Santana Saga is over!

    ATL just improved their team with Santana joining the rotation and I hope he does great. If he bombs, who knows maybe we can start a new Santana Saga and bring him back next year! haha

    But I’m ready to focus on our team and stop with the “what if” and “what could be” game. What’s done is done, best of luck to Santana. Now lets focus on the Royals making the playoffs this year!

    • tilghman55

      Atlanta still has pitching problems, they still have work to do.

  • jimfetterolf

    Looks like the Royals lost maybe one fW out of the deal, so no biggy. For about the price of Santana they got Vargas and Infante, so look to have come out ahead to me.

    Atlanta will be a good fit for Erv, an NL team to make his numbers prettier for next off-season, much better for him than a launching pad in the AL East, warm weather city. Best of luck to him, now looking forward to 4 of the first 58 picks. That should generate another wave in four years, what small market teams with bad local contracts have to do to stay competitive. Bet Atlanta would rather have had Duffy and Ventura :)

    • QuestAnalytics2012

      Pretty decent draft this year from what I have read. The Royals also add 1.8 million in draft slot money with the additional pick. Keep in mind that the “competitive balance” (around # 35??) pick can be traded. With roster issues regarding back up players do you think that may be a possibility to entice a team for a better player/prospect?

      • Dave Hill

        It could be, but I doubt that the Royals trade that pick. The Royals are going to use those picks to keep generating talent, akin to the philosophy of the Rays and the A’s. Now, they just need those picks to start panning out. It looks like that may be starting to happen.

        • prg62

          Just my opinion but this team’s fortunes are directly tied to their ability to develop home grown starting pitching. They should be developing that talent and taking advantage of the added picks when a player is inclined to move on after they are free from team control. Santana signing with Atlanta is not a huge win but I’ll take the end of the first round pick, added signing bonus $ it gives them, Vargas, and Infante over the hope that Santana can repeat last year’s performance. Especially looking at how he tailed off a little bit towards the end of last year no?

  • unclejesse40

    I just noticed on MLB Traderumors that Brett Wallace was released by the Astros. Does anyone see any value in bringing him in on a minor league deal for a little depth in AAA. Correct me if I am wrong but we don’t really have anybody at AAA right now that plays 3rd. Heck he used to be a top prospect, he just swings at everything.

    • Dave Hill

      He could be interesting as a AAA first baseman/third baseman just in case of injury. May be worth a look.

  • moretrouble

    No, David, KC’s playoff hopes have not been dashed. Will Duffy and Ventura be top of the rotation type pitchers this season? Well, they’ve got a chance. Would I have rather seen Santana in the rotation? Sure, but I also know Duffy and Ventura will be very, very good. So, balancing the trade-offs — Vargas, Infante vs. Santana — I think KC made a good decision. Hey, KC must play well to get to the post season anyway. I doubt that the entire season hinged on Santana. Everyone must step up.