The Kansas City Royals continued their quest to build a legitimate starting rotation on Wednesday by acquiring Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels. Santana endured the worst season of his career in 2012 when he posted an ERA over 5 and gave up a league high 38 homeruns. However, Santana is a former all-star and has proven on more than one occasion that he's capable of being a middle/front of the rotation starter. In return, the Angels will receive left-handed reliever Brandon Sisk from the Royals. Sisk posted a 2.54 ERA across 67 AAA innings and fanned 73 in the process.
For the Royals, their need for starting pitching clearly made Santana's expensive 13 million dollar option for 2013 a necessary risk. Santana features a 92-94 mph fastball and a devastating slider. Santana gets into trouble a lot when he can't throw his slider for a strike. This was the case for most of 2012, hitters keyed in on his fastball and the result was an unfavorable one. Kauffman Stadium won't necessarily help Santana either as Angel Stadium was already considered a pitching friendly environment, so the Royals coaching staff will likely try to help Ervin focus on throwing strikes again.
In Sisk, the Angels receive insurance for their current bullpen lefty Scott Downs. Sisk's aresenal isn't necessary impressive, he possesses a 90 mph fastball with a good change up and will occasinally mix in a slider. However, Sisk is known for attacking hitters, which is a trait sorely needed in the Angels organization. Many of their prospects tend to live on the corners and not challenge hitters. Sisk's acquistion also signifies that Angels top pitching prospect, lefty Nick Marodne will transfer back to the rotation. It was feared by many Angel fans that Marodne would be forced into a bullpen role starting in 2013 given the Angels desperate need for depth. This move also signifies that the Angels are serious about saving money for a potential Greinke deal and intend to trade Dan Haren. Haren has a 15.5 million dollar option for 2013 and if the Angels found a taker for Santana at 13 million, they'l most certainly find a taker for Haren.
All in all, both sides got what they were looking for here. Hard to see any downside. The Royals are banking on Santana returning to form and leading their staff and the Angels are saving money and building bullpen depth.
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