Ervin Santana is the “most likely” member of the Twins to be traded this summer, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark. However, executives that have spoken to the Twins about trades tell Stark that Minnesota is willing to talk about virtually anyone on their roster. Per one exec to whom Stark spoke, the Twins are telling potential trade partners, “If you’ve got any ideas, throw them out there.” Santana is far from the only trade candidate on the Twins’ roster; Fernando Abad, Eduardo Nunez, Ricky Nolasco and Trevor Plouffe are all free agents at the end of the 2017 season, and Kurt Suzuki is set to hit the open market following the current season. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd has listed several Twins among the game’s top trade candidates over the past few weeks. As for Santana, who tossed a shutout yesterday in Oakland, he’s earning $13.5MM this year and in each of the next two seasons, so he’d be considerably more than a rental piece for an interested club. However, that remaining salary might mean that some interested parties would want the Twins to include some cash in a deal to make the trade more financially palatable.
A few more notes on the trade market…
- The Red Sox have been scouting Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson lately tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB.com. Per Morosi, Hellickson is one of many options that Boston is considering as it seeks to upgrade the back of its rotation. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said tonight on the conference call to discuss the Aaron Hill trade with the media that the fourth and fifth spots of his rotation are indeed areas of focus, as ESPN Boston’s Scott Lauber writes. Hellickson could indeed fill one of those spots, as he’s delivered a solid 3.92 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 42.4 percent ground-ball rate in 105 2/3 innings. The Phillies can probably get more for Hellickson than they surrendered to acquire him at this point, and as a free agent at season’s end it seems likely that he’ll be wearing a new uniform by the time the non-waiver deadline passes.
- Infielder Yunel Escobar and left-hander Hector Santiago are getting hot at an opportune time if the Angels wish to shop them, writes MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. However, he also notes that it’s difficult to envision the Halos parting with either player. The Angels have a desperate need for rotation pieces in 2017 after losing Andrew Heaney to Tommy John surgery while Garrett Richards faces the possibility of the same fate. Santiago is controlled through the end of the 2017 season and doesn’t figure to be overly expensive, as he’s earning $5MM this year. Moving Escobar would mean that the Halos need to find a new third baseman for the third time in four years, Gonzalez points out, though he lists the Royals, Mets and Giants as possible suitors for the versatile infielder. Escobar, of course, comes with a questionable clubhouse reputation, but Gonzalez spoke to Santiago about Escobar’s presence in the clubhouse and received a positive review. Santiago admitted that he disliked Escobar when playing against him but enjoys his passion and enthusiasm now that they’re teammates.
- The Royals are continuing to monitor the market for starting pitchers, reports Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The Royals are moving Chris Young to the bullpen and have seen both Kris Medlen and Mike Minor suffer setbacks in their rehab, leaving a very thin supply of starters from which to choose. Either Dillon Gee or Brian Flynn could get a start this weekend, but Dodd cites a source in stating that the Royals have expressed some interest in the Rays’ available starting pitchers. Tampa Bay starters Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore have each seen their names pop up in trade rumors as of late.