“I like the city, I like the fans, I like the stadium,” Ervin Santana smiled as he officially said hello to his new team on the day that he turned 32.
The Minnesota Twins made it official on Saturday, signing the right-handed pitcher to a four-year contract. FOX 9 reported that the free agent put on uniform No. 54 in front of a crowd, then shook hands with general manager Terry Ryan.
According to the Star Tribune, Santana entered the free-agent marketplace 13 months ago with a target price of $100 million over five years. He ended up agreeing to Ryan’s offer of a $55 million deal.
Santana becomes the fourth free-agent starting pitcher signed by Minnesota in the past two winters, along with Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey. The payroll for the Twins will exceed $100 million for the first time since 2011.
The 6-foot, 2-inch Dominican Republic native made 31 starts for the Atlanta Braves last season, going 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA.