It was announced yesterday that the Kansas City Royals are signing veteran pitcher Ervin Santana to a minor-league contract. Ervin Santana signing with the Royals means that he will not be on the 40-man roster to start the season, but may be able to help some young arms in the Kansas City minor league affiliates.
Santana last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2019 for the Chicago White Sox. Since then, Santana has spent the last two winter’s pitching in the Dominican Winter League.
Ervin Santana Signing: What This Means for Royals
While adding a veteran arm, Santana will most likely start the 2021 season in AAA Omaha. The Royals rotation seems set with options like Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Jakob Junis, and Mike Minor.
Minor League Baseball did not have a season in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Santana will be a veteran presence for the young arms in the Royals’ minor league system. With pitching prospects such as Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar likely to make the AAA roster, having Santana as a mentor would be great for the pitching staff.
Santana would have to be added to the Kansas City 40-man roster to make it back to the majors. Santana could be added to the 40-man roster if the Kansas City pitching staff implodes during the 2021 season and they need arms with MLB experience who can be ready to go. The Ervin Santana signing is a low-risk move for the Royals, as they add a veteran pitcher looking to make it back to the bigs.
Ervin Santana Career Retrospective
Ervin Santana made his MLB debut in 2005 for the Los Angeles Angels and had a solid rookie season. He ended the 2005 season with a 12-8 record, over 130 innings, and an ERA of 4.65. Santana went on the pitch for the Angels for eight years up until 2012. During that span, Santana was a one-time All-Star and collected over 90 wins.
In 2013, Santana brought his talents to a growing Kansas City Royals team. Santana had a short stint with the Royals and picked up nine wins with an ERA of 3.24.
In 2014, Ervin Santana then signed with the Atlanta Braves and spent one year with the club. He appeared in 31 games in 2014 for Atlanta, then switched teams yet again, but this time spent the next four seasons with the Minnesota Twins.
With Minnesota, Santana was an All-Star in 2017 and ended that season with a 16-8 record, while pitching to a career-low ERA of 3.28.
Despite the success in 2017, his fourth and final season in Minnesota was dreadful. In five games, Santana went 0-1 with an 8.03 ERA. He then signed with his third AL Central team in 2019 in the Chicago White Sox, which was a brief stint where he only pitched in three games.
Ervin Santana Signing: Final Thoughts
With Santana being picked up by the Royals, he is not guaranteed to see time in the big leagues, despite this, the 38-year-old pitcher is approaching the end of his career and is looking to improve off of two miserable seasons.
Will Santana make his MLB return in 2021 with the Royals? That question will be answered come spring training and throughout the 2021 regular season. Time will tell how this Ervin Santana signing plays out.
Have a baseball lover that you need to get a gift for? Check out our partner at Dugout Mugs! Create a personalized mug made out of the barrel of a bat. Great for any baseball fan, or, let’s be honest, yourself!
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports!
main image credit Embed from Getty Images