Santana signed a four-year, $54 million contract with the Twins during the offseason. It was the largest free agent contract in team history and he is the second highest paid player on the club. Minnesota also handed over a second round pick for Santana because the Atlanta Braves had offered him a $15.3 million qualifying offer.
The Twins offered up the following statement:
“We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Ervin Santana for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program, the Minnesota Twins will not comment further on this matter.”
Santana also issued a statement:
"This is unexpected news for me and my family. I am issuing this statement so the public knows where I stand. First, my deepest apologies to my family, fans, colleagues, teammates and my current employer the Minnesota Twins. I am very disappointed that I tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. I am frustrated that I can't pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body. I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance. What I can guarantee is I never knowingly took anything illegal to enhance my performance. That’s just not me, never has been and never will.
“Ever since I was a child I always had to work harder than everyone. Not too many people believed I could become a Major Leaguer. I worked hard to achieve everything I accomplished and I take pride in proving that through hard work dreams can come true."
Removing Santana from the rotation puts the Twins in a bit of a pickle to start the year. Mike Pelfrey will be moved from the bullpen to the back of the rotation. Lefthander Aaron Thompson will be recalled from Rochester to take Santana's spot on the roster and be added to the bullpen mix.