Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Los_angeles_angels_905e
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Ervin Santana feels like a rookie again, getting a fresh start with the Kansas City Royals. Good thing, too. Just about all his new teammates aren't much older than rookies, anyway. The 29-year-old right-hander took a physical with his new team, and toured Kauffman Stadium on a brisk Monday afternoon, after a trade earlier this month sent him from the Los Angeles Angels to the Royals for a minor league pitcher and some cash to help cover his contract. "It's like I'm a rookie now," Santana said between meetings. "It's a new team." Indeed, Santana has been a fixture in the Angels' rotation since 2005, going 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA while starting at least 28 games in eight consecutive seasons - precisely the kind of dependable starting pitching that the Royals have been lacking for close to three decades. The Angels signed Santana as a free agent in 2000 and helped him develop into a solid starter of 96 games over the past three seasons. And even though he went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA last season, he was good enough down the stretch to give him - and the Royals - high hopes for next season. "I'm happy to be here," he said. "Everything's healthy. Everything is ready to go." That was no sure thing when Santana arrived in Kansas City - there were rumors about potential elbow problems, and a decrease in velocity had caused some trepidation. Everything has checked out, though, and the Royals believe they have a front-of-the-rotation starter to help solidify a starting corps that was abysmal last season. "We were able to scout Ervin during the entire year, specifically the second half," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said shortly after the trade. "His August and September were really good. From a statistical standpoint, he was very good." Santana, who will turn 30 in December, has shown the potential to be a No. 1 starter, winning at least 16 games in three seasons. He threw a no-hitter in 2011 and a one-hitter last season, yet he confounded the Angels with his inconsistencies in 2012. His resume combined with his raw talent drew comparisons to skeptics in Kansas City of Jonathan Sanchez, the former Giants pitcher whom the Royals acquired last season, and who performed so poorly this season that the team basically gave him away midway through the summer. Santana said he's spoken at length with Moore, along with Royals manager Ned Yost, and everyone in the organization appears to be optimistic that the hard thrower with the hard slider and backdoor curveball can become a dependable piece of the rotation. "They called me and told me they're happy to have me," Santana said, "and they can't wait to work with me, and I can't wait to work with them." Santana said he's also jazzed about working the Royals' collection of young defensive talent. Left fielder Alex Gordon recently won his second Gold Glove, Mike Moustakas evolved into a solid third baseman, shortstop Alcides Escobar showed tremendous range, and Eric Hosmer had a good enough year at first base that his defense helped even out his offensive shortcomings. "It's a young team, a lot of talent, and an aggressive team. They score a lot of runs," Santana said. "To me, it's the same baseball. Nothing's changed. Just coming here to do my job."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.