by John Viril—
Fox sports columnist Ken Rosenthal reports that the Kansas City Royals are now listening to offers on starting pitcher Ervin Santana. Last week, GM Dayton Moore insisted the Royals were still ‘in contention’ and would only consider deals that improved the team this season. If true, these rumors represent an abrupt about-face by Kansas City’s front office.
The Royals’ reversal instantly makes Santana the best available arm on the pre-deadline market. Dayton Moore could have changed his tune due to his club’s failure to make up ground on division-leading Detroit (the Royals remain 8 games back). Or, he could have been persuaded by the haul the Chicago Cubs landed for Matt Garza. Either way, Ervin Santana is now on the table. However, the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton is convinced the price will be high.
With the Royals still insisting they can make the playoffs, I see Dayton Moore limiting his options to National League clubs. Consequently, that makes the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the primary candidates to trade for Ervin Santana. The Royals would likely focus on their lineup hole at 2B and prospects for their rotation in any Santana trade.
This news also follows a Jeffrey Flanagan report from Foxnews Kansas City in which Santana said he was open to extension talks with Kansas City’s front office. These latest reports about Santana’s availability could simply mean Moore is exploring his options before making a decision about Santana’s future.