Minnesota Twins: 5 Free Agent Batters to pursue
By Nate Palmer
If the Twins were able to lure Carlos Santana to Minnesota he would fill a bigger role than what was outlined in the opening of this post. Since moving away from catching, Santana has spent most of his time as either a first baseman or designated hitter but has been used in the outfield a little as well. If the Twins were able to sign Santana it would be mainly for his bat.
Santana hit .259/.363/.455 this past season with 23 home runs. As a switch hitter, he would give the Twins plenty of line up flexibility and most importantly be able to hit right-handed against left-handed starters. His splits versus left-handers and right-handers are nearly identical. Making it certain that the Twins would not have to worry about platooning or subbing Santana based on pitcher handedness.
Signing Santana would be a long-term move. For 2018 he would mainly DH and be able to sub in for Mauer at first base and maybe even one of the corner outfielders from time to time. When Mauer’s contract is up he could easily slide in as the everyday first basemen come 2019. Santana will come at a price. MLB Trade Rumors predicts he will sign in the neighborhood of 3 years $45 million. It has also been announced that the Indians are extending him a qualifying offer, adding just a little more to any team’s price tag that would choose to sign him away from Cleveland. Santana just might be the type of hitter that is worth the price tag.