The Mets recently declined Johan Santana’s $25 million option for 2014, as expected, and the former Cy Young winner is set to be a free agent. Should the Twins be interested in Santana’s services? Absolutely.
I don’t know if Santana will end up signing with the Twins, but I’d be really surprised if there wasn’t contact between the two parties this winter. Consider these:
1. The two sides have history. Santana made his major league debut with the Twins in 2000. Santana’s two Cy Young awards came with the Twins in 2004 and 2006. Three of his four all-star appearances are with Minnesota (2005, 2006, 2007). His one gold glove was as a member of the Twins in 2007. To sum it up: the best parts of Santana’s career were with Minnesota.
2. Santana is coming off season-ending shoulder surgery. He missed all of 2013. He won’t, and shouldn’t be, looking for a multi-year deal. Santana should seek a one-year, incentive laden deal to help prove his worth again. He’s 35, so he may very well want to sign with a team in contention, but I think he’ll take what he can get. Does he fit the Twins immediate need? Maybe not. But on a business side, for a team that just finished a third consecutive 90-loss season, a Santana start would likely put fans in the seats. The Twins can afford this low-risk, high reward type of bargain.
3. History shows the Twins should be interested. Remember the signings of Ramon Ortiz, Sidney Ponson, Joel Zumaya, Mike Pelfrey, Rich Harden? Santana was better than all of those guys. It’s entirely possible.
Will signing Johan Santana be the answer to helping the Twins win? Probably not. But I’d rather see him back in a Twins uniform than Mike Pelfrey.