Minnesota Twins: Ervin Santana has surgery, now what?!

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 07: Ervin Santana
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 07: Ervin Santana /
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Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 07: Ervin Santana /

Minnesota Twins fans have been eagerly awaiting news about the starting rotation for 2018. Tuesday, they got news, but certainly not the kind that was wanted.

The Minnesota Twins have been one of the lead players for a top free-agent starter this offseason, and they have been in on starting pitcher trade options as well. It’s more than clear – the Minnesota Twins want to improve their 2018 starting rotation.

Instead, on Tuesday came news about the rotation, but it was that the one arm that was assumed to be a constant, predictable piece of that 2018 rotation is now going to miss upwards of a month of the regular season as Ervin Santana had surgery that will keep him out 10-12 weeks.

Santana represented the one “sure” thing in the Minnesota Twins rotation for 2018. He was nearly certain to give the team 30 starts, 180 innings, a mid-3 ERA, and solid peripheral numbers, something he’s done his entire time in Minnesota – and really since he discovered his two-seam fastball and change to add to his devastating slider in 2013 while with the Royals.

While the Twins have guys who certainly have more upside in Jose Berrios and even Kyle Gibson, who finished 2017 with a second half line of a 3.76 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 22/70 BB/K over 76 2/3 innings, the sort of production the Twins have always thought he could give them in the middle of the rotation, they certainly aren’t sure bets to give innings in 2018.

So what do the Twins do now?!

We’ll take a look at a few options for the team, first in the free agent market, then in possible trade options, and finally internal.

Next: Sign the big one