Ervin Santana isn't worth $13 million to a team with as much pitching depth as the Los Angeles Angels. That means they should do everything possible to trade him before the option deadline on Wednesday, even if it means accepting a low-ball offer.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the Angels are actively engaged with multiple teams interested in Santana (as well as rotation mate Dan Haren) because it's believed Los Angeles doesn't plan on picking up either player's pricey option.
It makes sense. The Angels already have Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson locked up, and Heyman states they are also looking to bring back Zack Greinke, which would give them a terrific top three. They would have enough depth to fill the rotation from there.
They don't need to spend nearly $30 million to shore up the back end of their rotation. Any available funds would be much better spent finding players who can provide some support for Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in the lineup.
Even though the Angels were able to finish in the top five in runs scored, the offense was far too streaky. They need to find a hitter or two capable of getting on base more regularly to add some more consistency to the equation.
There aren't many teams around the league in such favorable positions when it comes to their starting rotations. So there should be at least a couple potential suitors that believe Santana would be worth the short-term investment.
Those teams aren't going to give much for Santana, though. After all, he's coming off a season where he went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA, and his contract isn't ideal. Yet, the advanced numbers say he wasn't really that bad (4.48 xFIP), giving teams a reason to take a chance on him.
Heyman reports the Angels are able to buy Santana out for $1 million, so they probably aren't looking to make any deal where the other team would want them to pick up a significant portion of the contract.
There should be a happy medium, however. If the Angels are able to field an offer of a mid-level prospect in exchange for the 29-year-old right-hander and a small portion of the contract, they should jump at the opportunity.
Getting something back, even a developmental player, is always better than letting a player walk away for nothing with $1 million in his back pocket. Working against the option deadline might throw a wrench in their plans, though.
The Angels should spend the next 24 hours making a hard push to get a trade done. It's the best possible outcome as they start looking toward a bounce-back season in 2013.
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