Ervin Santana has probably pitched his last game as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He has had an enigmatic career in Southern California, going back and forth between brilliance and horrible starts.
The Royals should take a chance with him.
Santana arrived in the majors with the 2005 Angels. He won 12 games, but pitched to a high 4.65 ERA and had a mediocre 91 ERA+. But in the deciding Game 5 of the Division Series against the Yankees, Santana relieved an injured Bartolo Colon and went 5.1 innings for the win.
Over his eight seasons with the Halos he had some terrific seasons and some terrible seasons.
He finished sixth in the Cy Young voting in 2008. Then in 2009 he saw his ERA balloon to 5.03 and he lost his spot in the playoff rotation. But that same year, he threw a complete game shutout to clinch the division.
He improved in 2010 but had a down year the next, despite throwing a no-hitter on July 27, 2011.
In 2012, his ERA sored to 5.16 and he let up more home runs than anyone in the league. But he also could reach back and throw a one-hitter against Arizona on June 16.
The Angels are almost certain to not pick up his $13 million option, and he will be a free agent. He probably will not make top dollar but rather would be wanting to prove himself worthy of another big deal.
The Royals could probably get him for an affordable one-year deal. As the Royals wait for the Jake Odorizzis and Kyle Zimmers of the world to develop, Santana, who will be 30 next season, could be the ideal stopgap.
Pitching coach Dave Eiland would be given the job of harnessing his obviously tremendous amount of talent into one solid year. The Royals would get a good starter and help develop the rest of the staff and bullpen. And if Kansas City does not contend, they would have a good trade chip down the stretch.
And Santana could turn one terrific well timed season, into a lucrative multi-year deal for a team desperate for pitching.
It could be the ideal situation for the Royals to buy low and Santana to eventually sell high.