After eight inconsistent seasons as an Angels’ starter, Ervin Santana is now a Kansas City Royal. What is amazing is that all the team received in exchange was Brandon Sisk, a 27-year-old journeyman minor leaguer, whose chances of reaching the majors are slim.
Santana has been brilliant, and he has been horrible, and there was seldom no idea of which Santana would show up on the mound on any given day. He’s pitched a no-hitter and been an all-star, and he’s compiled three full seasons with ERAs over 5. In 2012 he went a gravely disappointing 9-13 with an ERA of 5.16, but he still pitched a one hit shutout against Arizona this past June. He also gave up five or more earned runs in a game 10 times last season.
But, he is still just 29, has great stuff, and does have 96 major league wins to his credit. He could become the ace the Royals has been missing since Zack Greinke left. Even if that doesn’t happen, he’ll still fit in great in the KC rotation, as three of their four leaders in starts last season also compiled ERAs over 5.
Sisk has been a career relief pitcher, with little use as a closer. The Angels must understand that this guy is not a prospect for anything other than for a little used situational lefty position at the back of the bullpen. Maybe. This past season in AAA, Sisk appeared in 50 games, and while he did average slightly more than a strikeout per inning, he also gave up half a walk per inning, with a 1.35 WHIP.
If salary is still any measure of a player’s value to a team, before the deal, the Angels exercised the option year in Santana’s contract, and KC will be paying him $13,000,000 next season. Yep, the Angels received a journeyman minor leaguer, will scant chance of ever being a contributing member of the big club, for a 29-year-old, $13 M dollar starting pitcher.
This is a strange start to an off season where the Angels and GM Jerry DiPoto really need some deep analysis and calculated moves to make many needed improvements to a team that looked to all the baseball world last March to be THE odds on favorite to win it all. We were all so wrong then. Clear heads and judicious moves are needed now, and giving away a valuable property is not a good start.