Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ervin Santana: To Trade Or Not To Trade?

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The calendar has flipped to June and many teams are trying to decide if they are contenders or pretenders. Minnesota is in the same situation. With the club off to a strong start to the season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will need to decide if the team will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

One Twins player's name is already being thrown around in trade rumors. Ervin Santana has gotten off to a tremendous start to the season.  At the beginning of May, I wondered if his start to the season was real or if he was a pretender. He has continued to be impressive and this could make him a hot trade target.

Fanrag Sports' Jon Heyman reports "Ervin Santana will be available even if he isn't quite available yet. He even quote's one rival as saying, "You can make an offer. They're hoping to cash in on his start." Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal said, "The ask for Santana figures to be quite high -- a stunning development for a pitcher who was suspended 80 games after testing positive for PEDs in 2015."

Reasons To Trade
The new regime has yet to have a signature move. There were plenty of steam regarding a Brian Dozier trade this off-season but nothing materialized. Trading Santana at the peak of his value could be a move that impacts this organization for years to come. A team trading for Santana would have to include quite the package of prospects and this could result in an overhaul of the Twins minor league system.

Another reason to sell high on Santana is that he isn't a typical ace. Santana's career numbers back-up his non-ace status. It's not unprecedented for a pitcher to have a great season and then regress back to their previous performance level. Boston fans have seen this with last year's Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. He put together a Cy Young winning campaign in 2016 but his 2017 season has been rough.

Santana's value will never be higher. If Minnesota wants to build for the future, trading Santana is the right move.

Reasons Not To Trade
The Twins always need pitching and it's been nice to have Santana as the anchor to the Twins rotation. Other players have filtered in and out this year but he has been the one constant. He also has a very team friendly contract. He is signed for next year at $13.5 million and there is also a $14 million team option for 2019 which would vest depending on innings pitched in 2017-18. These totals seems cheap in a baseball world where money is tossed around

Santana has also been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season. He has a chance to make his second All-Star team while being near the top of the AL in WHIP, ERA, hits/9, compete games, and shutouts. Minnesota could sneak into the playoffs and Santana needs to be part of this roster for that dream to become a reality.

As the Twins young core continues to develop, it would be nice to have a veteran pitcher at the front of the rotation. Santana can continue to provide veteran leadership while the team tries to stay in the playoff fight.

To trade or not to trade, that is the question. Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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