Ervin Santana Could Be Trade Bait?

By MJ Lloyd

The Angels figure to be one of the 10 or so teams involved in the C.J. Wilson bidding this Hot Stove season. I’m on record (Twitter) in not being the biggest fan of a team signing Wilson to be a front end starter. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good, left handed pitcher. But I’d be hesitant to hand a big 5-year deal to a soon-to-be 31-year-old pitcher with barely two years of starting experience. And it will probably take six years to get him signed due to the rather thin market this year.

The Angels seem to be in the Wilson market anyway despite my email pleas to several different variations of a Jerry Dipoto GMail address. Joel Sherman wildly speculates that the Angels would make Ervin Santana available if the Halos land Wilson…

The right handed Santana will turn 29 in December but just posted a career best 3.38 ERA and 4.00 FIP (fielding independent pitching) in 2011. His career 2.47 K/BB ratio isn’t groundbreaking but, as he showed this past season, Santana has no-hitter stuff. Santana will make $11.2M in 2012 with a club option to pay him $13M in 2013 which is below his open market value.

So trading him for a piece on offense might make some sense. Of course, the logjam in the outfield, first base and DH makes a trade a little more tricky. If the Angels do land Wilson, I think I’d keep Santana and take my chances with a rotation that could not only rival that of Philly and San Francisco but would also be deeper.