February 7, 2018

What do the Twins do now?

Despite winning 16 games last season, Ervin Santana has a way of disappointing Twins fans. When he first joined the team as a free agent, he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and was suspended for the first half of what would become a disastrous, 103-loss 2016 season.

And now the Twins have announced that Santana underwent finger surgery on his pitching hand and will be out of action for the next 10-12 weeks, which means he may not rejoin the rotation until May. In other words, the Twins, as of Tuesday, do not have a clear No. 1 starter in the rotation when the 2018 season begins.

So, what do they do now?

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports the Twins remain interested in lefty Jaime Garcia, who made one start for the Twins last season (and won) before he was traded to the New York Yankees for two prospects. But here’s my question: Are they interested in Garcia because of Santana’s surgery or do the Twins already know they are out of the running in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes?

There’s been very little news about Darvish — there’s been very little news about anything this offseason — other than the Twins and several other teams have been connected to the free agent pitcher from Japan, who last pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

Garcia is quite a step down from Darvish, who once won 18 games in Japan with a 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts in 232 innings pitched. Darvish won 93 games in Japan and has won 56 since he came to the U.S.

A rotation of Garcia, Santana, Jose Berrios doesn’t have quite the same sparkle as Darvish, Santana, Berrios.

But if not Darvish, how about free agent pitchers Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Jake Arrieta? All remain unsigned. Here’s the real concern: Maybe the Twins know they are out of the running to get any of them, in which case: Hello, Jaime Garcia.

Extra innings…

-MLB Trade Rumors, citing several sources, reported Wednesday that the Twins have made a multiple year offer to Darvish. They also say Darvish has received several offers of more than $100 million and offers that are five years in length. Now, which team will he pick?


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.