5 free agents the Twins should sign after Carlos Santana

Signing Carlos Santana was a great move, but it can't be the last one the Twins make this winter.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Minnesota Twins
Arizona Diamondbacks v Minnesota Twins / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP

Making the argument for Johnny Cueto with the Twins is mostly rooted in a personal enjoyment of seeing once-great names revive their careers one more time. A much more logical fit, though, could be Hyun-Jin Ryu who is still available and continues to feel like a potential sleeper fit for Minnesota.

In fact, most of the reasoning behind why Cueto makes sense applies to Ryu but without as gnarly of a downside. Both are working their way back from injury, but Ryu was far more productive with the Blue Jays -- despite the lasting image of him in that AL Wild Card game against the Twins.

The comparisons between Ryu and Maeda are almost scary how well they line up for history to repeat itself; both would be trying to bounce back from Tommy John surgery after having been dominant pitchers with the Dodgers in the latter half of the last decade. The year that Maeda finished as a Cy Young runner up, Ryu finished third in voting over in the NL.

Last season he finished the year with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP after missing almost all of the season coming back from injury. Ryu only made in 11 starts and posted a 3-3 record with Toronto, but he showed enough with his off-speed pitches to suggest that some time with Minnesota's excellent pitching staff could help him hone his game closer to what it was before he needed Tommy John.

The fact that he's still a free agent bodes well for the Twins in terms of what Ryu might cost. At the beginning of the winter he was projected in the season $8M range, which might still be the case but there's leverage to knock that price down and make up for it with incentives.

Ryu wouldn't solve the problem of replacing Sonny Gray, but he might have the highest-upside of the group of pitchers who will be auditioning for Maeda's old spot in the rotation.