Multiple sources are reporting that the Twins and Ervin Santana have agreed on a contract that will pay him $54 million over four years. Santana, who will be 32 in very short order, will receive $13.25 million per season through 2018.
Source: E. Santana deal with #Twins is actually four years, $55M. Includes $14M vesting option for fifth year or $1M buyout. Max out: 5/68.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
For those of you who wanted Terry Ryan and company to make a splash, they accomplished that with this move. While there is always risk in long-term deals, especially pitchers on the wrong side of 30, Santana was considered by most of the industry to be the best of the second-tier starters available - behind Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and James Shields.
Santana becomes the Twins' number two starter behind Phil Hughes. The rest of the rotation looks to include Ricky Nolasco and Kyle Gibson, with Tommy Milone, Mike Pelfrey, Trevor May, and Alex Meyer fighting for the fifth spot (and probably roles in the bullpen.)
With the plethora of options available, it's worth speculating over how the organization will deal with this level of depth. Eating Pelfrey's contract isn't a problem, but May and Meyer absolutely need Major League innings. Sending either of them back to Triple-A, in my mind, is a non-starter. That leaves us with Milone and Gibson, both of whom could be trade bait in the near future.
We'll focus on some additional details and add some analysis as we go tonight. In the meantime, how are you feeling about the Twins today? Payroll is now approximately $103 million, and the rotation looks better with Hughes and Santana leading the pack.