So maybe Ken Rosenthal knew what he was talking about after all when he predicted the Angels would make a trade this week. As it turns out, one was made within 24 hours of his prediction as Rosenthal just broke the news that Ervin Santana has been traded to the Kansas City Royals.
This news momentarily got Angel fans all aflutter with visions of Eric Hosmer and Greg Holland dancing through their heads (which are both laughable notions, by the way). Then the return on the trade was revealed:
OFFICIAL: @royals acquire RHP Ervin Santana and cash from @angels in exchange for Minor League LHP Brandon Sisk.
— MLB (@MLB) October 31, 2012
And just like that, our dreams were dashed. Really, this sounds about right. The Angels had no leverage in any Santana deal since it was widely known they wouldn't pick up his option. Sisk, by all accounts, is nothing more than a Quad-A left-handed reliever. He misses bats, but he also seems to have a bit of control problems. Basically, he's organizational depth. It isn't immediately clear if he is even better than the Angels' incumbent fringy southpaw relief prospect Andrew Taylor. It would've been nice had the Angels done better here, but at least they got something for Santana instead of paying him his $1 million buyout.
Oh, by the way, the Angels kicked in cash, presumably it is some amount equal to or less than $1 million. So there's that too.
As for the repurcussions, some are assuming that this means that Haren will now be brought back. I don't see it that way all. I think these are completely unrelated events. Saving maybe a few hundred thousand bucks (if that) on Santana's buyout won't make a lick of difference when it comes time to decide on Haren's option, which they must do by Friday. What it does do is give us a better idea of what the market is for a pitcher with an expensive 2013 option. Haren is better than Santana, but he is also a bit more expensive, so the Halos might be able to get a player that is a bit more viable as an actual contributor in the majors, but certainly not one that will make a major impact.
All of that aside, I wish Santana well in the AL Central, which was probably always his manifest destiny.