The Twins reportedly have expressed interest in two free agent Santanas: Ervin and Johan. LaVelle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins are "one of several teams" that have asked to look at Johan Santana's medical information, especially the condition of his left shoulder.
Santana pitched the first eight seasons of his MLB career in Minnesota before being traded to the Mets in 2008. He will turn 35 before the 2014 season and his availability would present a question mark on Opening Day. He underwent a second surgery to repair a re-tear of his shoulder capsule in April.
A return by the two-time Cy Young Award winner would generate a buzz among Twins fans, and Neal points out that the lefty already is working out near his home in Fort Myers, Fla., so proximity to the Twins’ year-round facility at the Lee County Sports Complex would be ideal.
One of Santana's agents, Ed Greenberg, said there's reason to believe his client could be ready to pitch in 2014 after surgeons took a different approach to stitching his shoulder capsule in the second surgery. His shoulder is holding steady so far.
"Johan is progressing well. He’s into his throwing program and is feeling good,” said Ed Greenberg, who represents Santana along with brother Peter Greenberg. “It’s still a work in progress, but is progressing as planned.”
When asked about having interest in Santana, Twins general manager Terry Ryan declined to discuss specific free agents.
Santana went 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA in four seasons with the Mets, and between shoulder surgeries, he squeezed in the first no-hitter in the team's history on June 1, 2012.
While Santana's return to Minnesota would make for a great feel-good story, Neal writes the reunion faces stiff odds.
It would make for a good story line, a former Cy Young hero returning to his former club to see if he can still get hitters out. But Santana has an uphill battle. Shoulder injuries are tough to recover from, often tougher than Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgeries. And Santana has had two of them.
The Twins reportedly also have expressed interest in righthander Ervin Santana, but he could be too pricey for Minnesota. He was 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA for the Royals last season.SI WIRE: Ervin Santana reportedly wants more than $100 million in free agency