Johan Santana Warming Up, Twins To Jump In?


If there’s one thing that the Twins have become known for in recent years, it’s that they are a big fan of reunions. As Johan Santana continues to work back towards a comeback from a torn Achilles tendon a season ago, the Twins are keeping a close eye on the former Cy Young award winner. As he prepares for his winter ball debut, the market may heat up.

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Looking to bounce back from the injury that ended his season before it started a year ago, Santana is working to get back on the mound in the Venezuelan Winter League. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that his progress has been substantial, and that after a bullpen on Thursday, he will make his debut next week.

While 89 mph is nowhere near the heat that the Cy Young winning pitcher was accustomed to prior to his injury issues, it is right about where he was at a season ago. He looked good out of the gate in spring training for the Orioles, and the Achilles injury was obviously a major blow.

As a Twins fan favorite, and major piece of the teams history, he will continue to be linked as long as he is in baseball. Darren Wolfson has reported that the Twins are in fact monitoring his progress down in Venezuela.

Should Johan return to the form he was in headed to spring training a season ago, the Twins could do much worse on a minor league flier. They took chances on guys like Johan in the past, with Rich Harden coming to mind.

Considering where the velocity is at, Johan Santana would likely be a much different pitcher this time around. Instead of relying on his devastating changeup, a more crafty and intuitive approach would be needed for success. A minor league deal would give the Twins the opportunity to ease him back into action, and see where he fits down the road.

That being said, it’s hard to imagine where there might be a place for Johan at this point. He isn’t a pitcher that you are going to have coming out of your bullpen, and the Twins rotation seems to be overflowing with options. If for some reason Johan Santana were to beat out the likes of Tommy Milone, Alex Meyer, or even Trevor May, you may have a more serious issue.

At any rate, until he eventually signs with someone for the upcoming year, Johan Santana remains a player on the Twins radar.

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