Angels send struggling Hector Santiago to the minors

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Hector Santiago was supposed to be a big part of the Angels’ rotation when they acquired him from the White Sox in a three-team trade this offseason, but instead he pitched his way into a move to the bullpen two weeks ago and now they’ve demoted him to Triple-A.

Santiago has an ugly 0-6 record, but his 4.82 ERA and .257 opponents’ batting average aren’t that horrible. However, he’s struggled to consistently throw strikes and manager Mike Scioscia wasn’t comfortable enough using him in the bullpen to give Santiago regular relief work, so the Angels believe he’s better off starting every fifth day in the minors.

Santiago had a 3.51 ERA in 23 starts for the White Sox last season, which is why the Angels were willing to part with Mark Trumbo in the deal for him. Of course, it’s worth noting that Trumbo has hit just .210 (albeit with his usual big power) for the Diamondbacks and hasn’t played since April 21 because of a foot injury.

Report: Blue Jays and Royals making progress on a Francisco Liriano trade

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and Royals are making progress on a trade involving starter Francisco Liriano. Morosi notes that other teams are still involved with the Jays on Liriano as well.

Liriano, 33, has struggled mightily this season. He carries a 5.99 ERA with a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 76 2/3 innings. By most metrics, this is one of the worst seasons of the lefty’s career.

The Royals acquired a trio of pitchers earlier this week from the Padres: Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill. Adding Liriano would bolster the team’s rotation depth but might not do much beyond that.

Despite a sluggish start to the season, the Royals went 17-9 in June and are 14-8 in July to put themselves right back in the thick of things in the AL Central. They’re just one and a half games behind the first-place Indians, which explains their aggressiveness leading up to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Marlins are open to trading starter Dan Straily

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Miami Marlins are “now open to trading” starter Dan Straily.

Straily is controllable through 2020 and is a solid mid-to-back rotation starter, so you’d think the Marlins would want to hang on to him, but given that all of the starting pitching available right now comes with a high price tag, the Marlins could probably get a lot in return if they were to deal him.

Straily has a 3.84 ERA and a 107/33 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings this season.