Francisco Liriano is off the table after re-signing with the Pirates. Jon Lester reportedly inked a $155 million deal with the Cubs. Max Scherzer will probably command nearly as much money from whomever he signs with.
"Big Game" James Shields is still available, but it seems the Twins want a different right-handed starting pitcher.
According to La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune, the Twins "are in on" Ervin Santana. Neal writes:
"The Twins have been in contact this week with Santana's agent and apparently are prepared to give up a second round pick as compensation if they can work out a deal.
"Santana is expected to attract plenty of interest. He was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA last season with the Braves and has a track record of being durable. He would definitely upgrade the Twins' rotation."
MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal tweeted late Wednesday that Minnesota has extended an offer to Santana.
Hardball Talk's Aaron Gleeman notes that acquiring Santana would require the Twins to give up a 2015 second-round draft pick. It's a factor of signing a free agent who requires a qualifying offer. If the Twins land Santana, they'll likely have to commit to the largest free-agent contract they've ever given to a starting pitcher. The richest contract to a starter doled out by the Twins belongs to Ricky Nolasco, who signed for four years and $49 million last offseason.
Stay tuned as the Hot Stove season continues to heat up.