Carlos Santana signing probably ruins a potential Twins reunion

Minnesota is finally willing to spend some money, but it might not be on bringing a familiar face back.

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

Spring Training is finally here, but the Minnesota Twins still have a few orders of business that need to be attended to. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the team is going to find a frontline pitcher to replace Sonny Gray’s production, with lower tier fliers like Noah Syndergaard and Jake Ororizzi being tossed out as possible targets.

The general sentiment beyond that, though, is that even if a big move isn’t on the horizon the Twins shouldn’t be done adding to the roster. Minnesota made just two significant moves this winter, trading Jorge Polanco to the Mariners and using some money freed up in that deal to sign Carlos Santana.

It seems the Twins are going to roll with internal options to fill out the starting rotation behind Pablo Lopez, with Joe Ryan and Chris Paddack getting leaned on to carry the load alongside Bailey Ober and either Anthony DeSclafani or Louie Varland.

Pitching remains the biggest question mark, but the Twins can still roll the dice with some positional players as well. There’s one guy, though, who probably won’t be factoring into the equation any longer.

Twins signing Carlos Santana probably means Donovan Solano isn’t coming back

There was hope earlier this winter that the Twins might bring back Donovan Solano to help add depth at first, but it seems the arrival of Santana renders that irrelevant.

Arguably the second biggest thing the Twins needed to address outside of starting pitching was depth at first base (although the situation in centerfield is up there too). Alex Kirilloff is coming off another offseason surgery and while he’s further along than he was last season there’s still some doubt that he’ll be healthy enough to play Opening Day.

Even if Kirilloff is ready to go, the Twins were in a nearly identical spot to last spring where they lacked depth behind him. That’s where Santana comes into play, as he’ll figure to take on a DH role while paying first base when Kirilloff isn’t in the lineup.

Minnesota also has Edouard Julien to slide over to first, especially when Brooks Lee gets called up and his glove can take over at second.

All of this seemingly forces Solano out of the picture, despite his eagerness to return to Minnesota. He told a local publication in his native Colombia that he hoped the Twins would call him and indicated he didn’t need a big offer to return. Minnesota spent around $2M to bring Solano in last season and he was worth every penny.

Instead the team team spent some more money and got a bigger bat than what Soloano would have provided. He was excellent last season filling in or Kirilloff and Polanco, as well serving as DH when the team needed, but it seems there won’t be a reunion this year.

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