Reports: Twins pitching ace Ervin Santana clears trade waivers

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Ervin Santana, the pitching standout in an otherwise underwhelming season for the Minnesota Twins, has cleared the major league trade waivers.

The Pioneer Press reports that the 33-year-old is now eligible to be traded with any club for the remainder of the season, as well as making their post-season rosters, provided a deal is struck by the end of Wednesday.

The newspaper's Twins reporter Mike Berardino says the Twins could look to offload his contract, with the right-hander still owed $28 million over the next two years, as well as still being owed $2.66 million this season.

In a troubled season for the Twins, Santana has excelled particularly following the post-season break. He has a 6-10 record with a 3.33 earned-run average, according to MLB.com.

In his past seven starts he has 3 wins, 2 losses and struck out 40 over 49 innings, with his ERA at just 2.39 even taking into account Saturday's defeat to the Blue Jays, during which he gave up six earned runs.

His time with the Twins started ignominiously, having to serve an 80-game ban for using PEDs.

In an interview with MLB.com last month, interim Twins GM Rob Anthony didn't rule out the possibility of trading Santana, but did make it clear that it won't be a financial decision.

"He's our best starting pitcher right now. So I'm not in any hurry to move him," he said. "I'll listen if it makes sense. I've told everyone it's not a financial thing. Our owner told me we didn't need to shed payroll or anything. With a guy like that, he can [be] part of the solution for us as we try to get back on the right track.

"I don't think we're that far away, but I also know we have opportunities to improve this club, and I'd like to seize those opportunities."

ESPN reports that the Twins could also trade catcher Kurt Suzuki, as he cleared waivers earlier this month.

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