KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Last week’s trade deadline came and went, and the man they call “Magic” remained a Royal, much to his delight, his teammates’ delight, and the delight of the Twitter world.
In fact, Ervin Santana, a pending free agent, instantly went to Twitter when the deadline passed and tweeted out a huge “Yessssssss!!!!!!”
Santana’s teammates express similar sentiments.
“Absolutely, we’re glad to have him here,” designated hitter Billy Butler says. “He’s a big part of this team. We wouldn’t be where we are without him, and we probably wouldn’t compete too well (for a playoff spot) without him.”
Santana, though, admits he really didn’t think he’d be traded.
“I was very happy,” he says. “But I wasn’t that nervous.
“A lot of guys came up to me and said, ‘Whew, glad you’re still here!'”
What happens long-term with Santana is the obvious next question.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore has told me he wouldn’t rule out signing Santana to a long-term deal — and that could be a commitment near $45 million over three years — and that the Royals have always tried to keep their own players in Kansas City.
As time passes, Santana seems more agreeable to remaining a Royal in the future.
“I really like everybody here,” he says. “I like the ballclub, where it’s going. It would be good (to stay).”
Asked how much being with a team he likes will factor into his decision, Santana says, “It means a lot. I feel comfortable here.”
There’s no question Santana is intentionally trying to show his human side with his recent addiction to Twitter. He started tweeting less than a month ago on the advice of his agent, Bean Stringfellow of Proformance.
“My agent told me I should, just to get to know the fans a little better,” Santana says. “And he wanted to show them who I am away from the guy on the mound who has a serious face and all of that.”
Santana already has picked up more than 14,000 followers.
“At first I really didn’t want to do that,” he says. “I kind of went, ‘Nah, I don’t want to.’ But I know it shows everyone who I am away from my game face. It shows them I can be a guy who has fun and likes to have fun.”
Part of that fun involves the present playoff chase, something he experienced often with the Angels. He hesitated somewhat to draw too many comparisons to those Angels teams and the Royals.
“It’s really hard to compare,” he says. “But we were a young team with the Angels. This is a young team that wants to get better every day. That’s what makes it fun.
“Everyone gets better together.”
And you can bet Santana will document the journey on Twitter.
As he tweeted recently:
KC Fans, I hope you are proud of your Royals. We want to bring you a penant!