KC Royals sign RHP Ervin Santana to minor league contract

KC Royals, Ervin Santana (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
KC Royals, Ervin Santana (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The KC Royals are not wasting any time with their singings so far, and have added a new veteran on a minor league contract.

The KC Royals have been one of the more active teams so far this offseason. They have made some singings that are a bit out of character for them, but they are a welcomed sight.

Now, they have brought back an old friend on a minor league contract, Ervin Santana.

This contract is much more typical for a KC Royals offseason. A veteran reclamation project who may or may not help in the majors is a favorite offseason tune for Dayton Moore.

Many Royals fans are likely familiar with Santana. He came to Kansas City through a trade with the Angels in 2013. He had lost some steam in Los Angeles but was able to put things together again with the Royals.

In 2013, he pitched 211.0 innings over 32 starts and held an ERA of 3.24 and FIP of 3.93. He is not as much of a strikeout pitcher as some but has displayed decent control though his career.

Santana didn’t pitch in the majors in 2020, and his 2018 and 2019 seasons were not his best.

In 2018, he sat out most of the season due to injuries and only pitched 24.2 innings over 5 starts, struggling with home runs, and sitting at an 8.03 ERA. Unfortunately for him, his 2019 wasn’t much better. He started with the White Sox but was DFA’d after 13.1 innings, giving up 14 runs.

He signed a minor league contract with the Mets shortly after but never made it to the majors.

Now, the Royals are hoping he can regain some of his former success. At 38, it’s not likely Santana has a lot of time left, but with the Royals win-now mentality, they may see a veteran who can help and continue to mentor the young pitching prospects coming up through the minors.

In his best seasons, Santana was a workhorse. He has put together multiple seasons with over 200 innings and 30 or more starts. This is something the Royals have been missing. He has spent his career as a starter, but if he shows some success, Kansas City could look to flip him to a reliever role, helping to supplement the bullpen with more veteran leadership.

With the talented pitching prospects coming up, there may be a slim chance that Santana will make the major league roster. With his knowledge, though, if he can find some of his old success again, he could be another piece of the puzzle to push for contention in 2021.

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The Royals have signed veteran pitcher Ervin Santana to a minor league contract.