That goes back to July 3, 2010, at Anaheim, when Santana, the Angels' starter, hit Butler with a pitch in the first inning and, after walking him twice, drilled him again in the eighth. In the heat of the moment, Butler glared at Santana, but that loaded the bases and Jose Guillen followed with a two-run single to break up a scoreless duel.
That was the day that Bruce Chen had a perfect game going against the Angels through six innings. The Royals won, 4-2.
Ancient history, Santana declared.
"There's nothing there because, after that, the next year I saw him in Kansas City and I said hello to him and he said hello back to me and there was nothing -- no problems -- because he knows I wasn't doing it purposely," Santana said. "I like to pitch inside and he knows it."
Butler, by the way, hit his first career home run off Santana on June 26, 2007, and in his career is a modest 8-for-31 (.258) against the right-hander -- but five of those hits were homers, and he also walked six times in addition to the two plunkings.
At his new home, Kauffman Stadium, Santana made eight starts during his career with the Angels and was 3-2 with a 4.59 ERA. The pitcher was diplomatic.
"I like the stadium, it's very nice, it's one of my favorite stadiums," he said.
Santana becomes the second starter obtained by the Royals since the season ended. Right-hander Chris Volstad was claimed off waivers from the Cubs last Friday and general manager Dayton Moore says the Royals aren't done yet.
Moore noted that his scouts were particularly impressed with Santana's pitching in August and September this past season. In 10 starts during those two months, he was 4-3 (the Angels were 7-3 in those games) with a 3.63 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 16 walks in 62 innings.
"Our evaluations were very consistent on him," Moore said. "He's obviously been someone who is a high-inning guy, 600-plus innings over the last three years, I believe. Our scouting judgment was consistent with regard to him impacting and being an upgrade for us in our rotation. Our analytical statistical judgment confirmed that, as did our medical information, and we're proud to be able to consummate the deal."