It took the Minnesota Twins nearly three months to make a move, but the flood gates appear to finally be open. After trading Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners to begin the week, the Twins ended it by signing veteran slugger Carlos Santana.
While trading Polanco was pretty painful thing for fans to go through, it wasn't totally unexpected and it ended up having a longer tail in terms of what the Twins ultimately got for him. There was the immediate return package -- which centered on reliever Justin Topa and top prospect Gabrial Gonzalez -- but Minnesota also got cash back in the deal.
The Twins acquired starter Anthony DeSclafani, but both the Giants and Mariners are picking up the tab on his contract this season. That meant Minnesota freed up around $6 million, some of which was used to bring in Santana on Friday.
Twins sign veteran slugger Carlos Santana to a one-year deal
KTSP's Darren Wolfson was the first one to report the deal, and it's exactly the type of action the Twins needed after an otherwise painfully quiet winter.
According to Jon Heyman, the Twins are giving Santana a $5.25M deal, which is almost all of the money the team freed up by traing Polanco earlier in the week.
It's also a classic Twins veteran signing, as the team seems to be good for one every single season. Last year Minnesota took a flier on Joey Gallo, a gamble that paid off early -- especially against the New York Yankees -- but didn't end up lasting very long.
Some fans thought that Joey Votto fit the bill this year, which he did, but the Twins ended up going with Santana instead. He's a familiar face from the AL Central, having spent the longest portion of his career in Cleveland.
After leaving Cleveland in 2017, Santana has been a journeyman mercenary, with stops in Philly, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and most recently Milwaukee.
Santana had been trending down over the last few years, but he bounced 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.
He's well into the twilight of his career, but Santana will add both a veteran precense to the clubhouse and some potential power while also filling in much-needed depth. It's unclear how healthy Alex Kirilloff will be when Opening Day rolls around, but even if he's starting the Twins will need to have some depth to support him on the roster.
Derek Falvey said at TwinsFest that Kyle Farmer will get some work at first base in Spring Training and the team has already soft launched the idea of Edouard Julien spending time there as well. Adding Santana gives Minnesota another first baseman to plug into the lineup if Kirilloff runs into problems, and it also provides some potential power at DH as well.