Nine questions answered as Twins workouts begin

Pitchers and catchers stage their first official exercise Wednesday morning, Feb. 14, in Fort Myers, Fla. Opening Day in Baltimore, March 29 this yr, is true across the nook:

1. Hey, the place’s the ace?

Ervin Santana? You in all probability will not see the 35-yr-previous proper-hander on the mound for the Twins till late April or early Might after he underwent Feb. 6 surgical procedure on the center finger of his pitching hand.

Nonetheless smarting from a two-inning drubbing within the wild-card loss at Yankee Stadium final fall, Santana wants to succeed in 200 innings for a second straight season — plus cross a yr-finish bodily — to be able to set off a $14 million choice for 2019.

Even when he fails to get there, the Twins nonetheless might determine to deliver him again for a fifth season. He’s coming off his first all-star look in 9 years and has been a constructive affect within the clubhouse.

2. Oh, sorry, you meant Yu Darvish?

Uh, he is in Arizona with the Chicago Cubs, who lastly agreed to signal him over the weekend for six years and $126 million, with an opportunity to earn one other $25 million or so via efficiency bonuses.

The Twins, as promised, chased the Japanese pitching star for 3 strong months earlier than reportedly refusing to transcend 5 years at round $20 million per season. Signing Darvish would have been an enormous increase to the Twins’ rotation however different choices stay.

three. OK, so who will the Twins signal to assist this modest rotation?

Or purchase. Do not forget the commerce avenue, though the oft-rumored Tampa Bay Rays are much more more likely to half with proper-hander Jake Odorizzi, underneath management by means of 2019 by way of wage arbitration, than employees ace Chris Archer, whose remaining obligation of $34 million over the subsequent 4 years makes him one of many recreation’s most precious arms.

Prime remaining free brokers embrace Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and ex-Rays proper-hander Alex Cobb. Then there’s the subsequent tier that features former Twins lefty (for one begin) Jaime Garcia, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Hellickson, John Lackey and previous good friend Ricky Nolasco (sorry).

Anybody who’s introduced in would compete with the likes of holdovers Adalberto Mejia, Phil Hughes, Tyler Duffey, Aaron Slegers, Dietrich Enns and Trevor Might for rotation spots behind potential Opening Day starter Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson.

Ex-Yankee Michael Pineda, working again from Tommy John surgical procedure final July, hopes to be prepared to assist by September.

four. Will Miguel Sano be prepared for Opening Day?

He must be, barring a setback because the slugging third baseman works again from…

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