Joe Ryan tried to give Carlos Santana his jersey number, but MLB rules got in the way

Of course Rob Manfred stood in the way of something fun happening.

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

Money was absolutely an object for the Minnesota Twins this winter, as the team's frugal ways made an unwelcome return. Thanks to fears over lost future revenue, the Twins slashed the payroll and ended up cutting out around $33 million of spending.

This coming on the heels of how last season ended was terrible optics and it's going to take a while for fans to get over it. Somehow, how the Twins handled the budget wasn't the lamest financial thing to happen this offseason.

One move the Twins did make was signing slugger Carlos Santana to a one-year deal. He's the team's annual veteran gamble, but he's at least a familiar face thanks to his days over in Cleveland. While he's worn a few different uniforms since leaving the Guardians back in 2020, he's always had the No. 41 on his back.

That's going to change in Minnesota, but not for a lack of trying.

Lame MLB rule ruined a potential Joe Ryan and Carlos Santana jersey number swap

Joe Ryan is the player who has Santana's jersey number and was apparently willing to give it to him and switch to a different number himself. Everything was lined up for the swap until MLB rules intervened and ruined everyone's fun.

A new MLB rule requires that a $225,000 fee be paid in order for a player to switch his uniform number.

"It's the first time that's happened to me," Santana told Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. "I don't want to pay all that money for using 41. But it's OK. [Ryan] has played here for a while I"m not upset."

Why the league is charging for uniform changes is beyond comprehension, because it's not like the money is being reallocated into making them better. MLB and Fanatics have been under fire for their absolutely horrendous and transparently cheap approach to this year's uniforms which makes the fact that the league charges for number changes even richer.

Richer is how Joe Ryan and Carlos Santana plan to stay, as it seems any hope of a number change ended once a fee for doing so entered the equation. Thankfully it won't matter what number Santana has on his back this season, as the Twins brought him in to keep moving his stats on paper in the right direction.

Santana hit a rough patch over the last few years, but managed to bounce back while with the Brewers. He finished his season in Milwaukee slashing .249/.314/.459 and posted a 109 OPS+ that was his highest since he was an All-Star back in 2019.

It doesn't matter what number he's wearing as long as Santana keeps building on that.

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