Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa(na) Comes Early, Now What?

"Making a list, checking it twice.
Terry Ryan got what he thought was nice."

Even though the Twins are coming of four straight 90-loss seasons, there wasn't a ton of things the club needed to accomplish this off-season. The team seemingly had one one position player spot in the corner outfield. Terry Ryan also wanted to add depth to the starting pitching core. Just days after the winter meetings and the Twins have crossed both of these needs off their holiday wish list. 

At the beginning of December, Minnesota signed Torii Hunter to a one-year, $10.5 million contract. This checked off the Twins corner outfield need. Near the end of the winter meetings, word came out of the club's interest in starting pitcher Ervin Santana.Over this past weekend, the club signed the righty to a four-year, $54 million contract, the largest free agent deal in franchise history.

With the ink drying on over $60 million worth of free agent contracts, what's left for the Twins to accomplish this off-season?

If the Twins add any more pitching, it will likely be a cost effective bullpen option. Minnesota took J.R Graham during last week's Rule 5 Draft and he will be in the mix for a bullpen role. There are plenty of options for the back end of the rotation and to complete the bullpen. Mike Pelfrey, Trevor May, Tommy Milone, and Alex Meyer will already have quite the battle on their hands this spring.

One name that popped up over the weekend was former club ace Johan Santana. Darren Wolfson reported that the left-handed pitcher will be trying to get into action by the end of the month in the winter leagues. With all of Santana's health issues in recent years, he could be a very cheap option that could eventually be used in a bullpen role. Even if he had to start the year in the minors to prove he was healthy, it could still work out for the club.

Besides pitching depth, the team could also be looking to add a couple of bench bat option on minor league deals. Apparently, the club has reached out to free agent and Twin Cities native Jack Hannahan. A shoulder injury limited the infielder to 26-games last season so if there is interest from both parties, he could end up in Fort Myers for spring training. 

So if your Christmas dreams included another big deal for the Twins, I wouldn't get your hopes up. It seems as if all of the big presents were opened early this year.

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