Ervin Over James, The Twins May Have Done Better

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Aug 13, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) delivers a pitch to Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

Twins fans often look at contract numbers as reflective of a certain statistical value to be expected. While that is fair to presume, in practice it is flawed reasoning due to the lack of a salary cap. Instead, contracts are more indicative of positioning when comparing one player to another. So, here we go.

Ervin Santana has just under 1,900 innings on his arm over the course of 10 major league seasons. He owns a career ERA of 4.17 and his career WHIP (walks/hits per innings pitched) checks in at 1.283. He owns a 7.2 K/9 ratio paired with a 2.8 BB/9 ratio.

James Shields has compiled just slightly over 1,900 innings throughout the course of a nine-year career. He has a career ERA that sits at 3.72 and has a career WHIP of 1.220. His K/9 ratio is 7.7 and he walks batters at a 2.1 BB/9 clip.

So what does this tell us?