Free Agency Rumors: Ervin Santana To Minnesota?
As the free agency period kicks off in Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins will be amongst nearly every team in baseball in on pitching. Looking for another starter to bolster their rotation, the Twins will be scouring the market. A name familiar with the AL Central may actually be a fit. Enter Ervin Santana.
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After pitching for the Atlanta Braves on a one year deal last season, Santana is set to hit the market once again. In 2014, Santana was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA and an 8.2 K/9 ratio.
Sports Illustrated has tabbed him as the 13th best free agent on the market and sees the best fit as the Twins. Here’s what they had to say about the fit:
"Santana, like Nelson Cruz, was disappointed by last winter’s market. The former Angel and Royal had to settle for a one-year, $14.1 million deal with Atlanta. The good news is that he pitched well again in ’14 — he posted the second-best strikeout rate of his career — and this time he’s set to find a long-term home. It could be in Minnesota, where the Twins hit on Phil Hughes last year but still need more pitching, and where spacious Target Field could be well suited to Santana’s fly ball tendencies."
I liked Ervin Santana as a fit from Kansas City last season, instead the Twins targeted Ricky Nolasco as the second arm to go with Hughes. I still think Santana offers a lot of upside, and could be a great fit in Minnesota.
While James Shields is a pipe dream, Santana may be the next closest thing to a strong starter. If the Twins can get him at a reasonable price, I think this move is a must.
On top of Santana, Sports Illustrated sees Torii Hunter as a fit for the Twins too. We’ve already been made aware that Minnesota has reached out to Hunter. Sports Illustrated offered the following sentiments on Hunter:
"Hunter has continued to be productive at the plate as he’s aged, but he’s had to give up his Spiderman leotard; the man who won nine straight Gold Gloves while playing centerfield is now a genuine liability defensively. Fangraphs rated him as easily the worst rightfielder in the league in 2014. But his bat still plays, and he’s a beloved teammate. A return to Minnesota — where he played until he was 31, and where he could split time between right and DH — would make for a nice final chapter in his terrific career."
I don’t see this fit as much more than a fan based signing. Sure he’s a great clubhouse guy, and he can still hit, but the Twins don’t need to stunt development of young talent. Kennys Vargas should already have laid claim to the DH spot, and Hunter isn’t capable of playing left field at a high level.
Torii should be looking to sign somewhere to win for his final years, and while the Twins may return to the postseason in the next two years, it probably won’t be a deep run.
Give me Eddie Rosario and Oswaldo Arcia on the corners in the outfield, spend on a fourth outfielder instead.