It came out this weekend that the Twins have had an offer on the table for free agent pitcher Ervin Santana. It's for three years for an undetermined amount of money, although sources have said that it's "well below" the $42 million that Minnesota had offered Matt Garza over the same number of years.
The Twins are no doubt looking for value, considering they'd be giving up a second-round pick in return for Santana's services. It's also possible the Twins are hoping their multi-year offer, which is quite possibly the only one Santana has on the table, would be enough to sway him to come to Minnesota...especially since it seems he's not willing to go to the Twins on a one-year offer.
@MnSportsNation He wants a 1-year deal, and told it won't be here. Twins want him at 3-years.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) March 9, 2014
Of course the #MNTwins offer to FA Ervin Santana is still there. Will be 'til he signs. Told it's "well below" the Garza 3/$42M offer.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) March 10, 2014
If it's not obvious by this point that the Twins aren't happy with their internal options for that fifth rotation spot.
Having already spent $84 million to bolster their starting rotation, the Twins apparently aren't satisfied with the fifth-starter contenders in their camp. Top prospects Alex Meyer and Trevor May were shipped back to minor-league camp on Sunday, leaving a group of five that includes Vance Worley, Sam Deduno and Scott Diamond.
All three are out of minor league options.
It is highly unlikely that Ervin Santana ends up in Minnesota, although that could change if one or two of the teams offering him a one-year deal drop out of the race. Based on the focus of the front office this season, it's becoming clearer and clearer just how big of a focus they have placed on the starting rotation - and it's impossible to blame them for their sense of urgency. Adding Santana to this rotation could turn the Twins from a team that could finish near .500 if a lot of things go right, into a team that would be expected to finish around .500.
I expect that Minnesota's offer is in the range of $10 or $11 AAV, bringing his total contract to $30 to $33 million. Considering that would take Santana through his age-33 season, meaning it would likely be his last big payday, it's hard to blame him for wanting to go on a one-year deal with the hope of grabbing a larger payday next winter.