COMMENTARY | Following their winningest (full) season since 1989, the Kansas City Royals made it a point to improve in many key areas this offseason to ensure there is no letdown in 2014.
Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but there is a different buzz surrounding this team as spring training draws near. And a reported contract offer to free-agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana could send that optimism to another level.
Royals television announcer Rex Hudler stated on the Pine Tar Podcast that Kansas City had indeed extended a two-year offer to Santana. David Lesky, one of the podcast hosts, later tweeted about the chat.
Just heard from Hudler that the #Royals have offered Ervin Santana a 2 year deal.- David Lesky (@DBLesky) January 29, 2014
To clarify, I'm not sure when the two year deal was offered. Hud just said that it was offered. #Royals- David Lesky (@DBLesky) January 29, 2014
Hudler would later tell Fox Sports Kansas City that he didn't think the offer had been made recently.
"I'm not a spokesman for the team ... I had just heard from a credible source that (at some time) an offer had been made."
General manager Dayton Moore also confirmed that the Royals had not made any recent offer to Santana.
While the timing of the offer was not disclosed, it should be seen as very encouraging that Dayton Moore did indeed make a play for the right-hander. Santana, along with James Shields, helped anchor an improved Royals' starting rotation.
Santana posted nine wins, a 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, an ERA+ of 127 and 161 strikeouts in 211 innings last year in Kansas City.
The Royals signed Jason Vargas already this offseason, and expect Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura to also compete for spots in the big-league rotation.
Fitting Santana into a payroll that is likely to exceed $90 million for next season is not likely. But no one would deny that adding him to the mix again would make the Royals a contender in the American League.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kansas City Royals
- Ervin Santana
- Rex Hudler