The Twins won’t pick up the 2019 club option for Ervin Santana or Logan Morrison, the team said Tuesday. Instead they’ll pay the inexpensive buyout in each contract.
Morrison would have cost $8 million next year and instead the buyout will cost the Twins $1 million. Santana would have earned $14 million if the Twins exercised his option — or if he’d stayed healthy enough to pitch the 200 innings to make the option vest.
The Twins should have tens of millions available to spend this winter if they choose to. In addition to projected savings on Morrison and Santana, the Twins will have several big contracts coming off the books for 2019.
Ervin Santana was the ace two years ago and offered next to nothing on the mound last year. That’s a bummer for Santana and for the Twins. Now, he’s a free agent hitting the market at a time that he may have to reprove his health following last winter’s finger surgery.
Logan Morrison broke out for 38 home runs in his final season with the Rays and was one of the surprising free agents to be left out in the cold when spring training began. The Twins made a small bet on his breakout and signed him to a cheap contract to be a lefty DH and first baseman. Morrison hit the ball hard and didn’t have much to show for it, then he got hurt, had surgery and his season was finished. The final stats look bad. Now, he’ll hit free agency again one winter after discovering a chilly market for his services. The market should be hotter this year but now he’s coming off a bad year instead of a breakout year, and that market might not reward him for that past performance.
Dan Hayes (The Athletic) joins to talk Twins, Byron Buxton, the manager hire and the biggest priority in free agency.