Orioles outbid Twins for Santana’s services
FORT MYERS, FLA. – On Wednesday, lefthander Johan Santana took the field with his new team, the Orioles, while one of his former teams, the Twins, moved on without him.
The sides were in negotiation on a minor league deal with incentives for reaching the majors, but Santana opted to sign with Baltimore, which offered a more lucrative deal.
Santana will receive a one-year, $3 million deal if added to the 40-man roster and he can earn an additional $5.05 million in roster and performance bonuses.
Assistant general manager Rob Antony would not divulge the Twins’ offer, but indicated they weren’t comfortable going where the Orioles went.
“If he pitches in the big leagues, his salary would be higher than where we went,” Antony said.
The Twins spoke many times with Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg, about the two-time Cy Young Award winner returning to the organization. They viewed Santana as a starter who could be ready to pitch by June, if all went well with his rehabilitation following shoulder surgery.
Righthander Matt Guerrier, who has been treated carefully in camp after offseason surgery, threw live batting practice Wednesday and is getting close to pitching in a game. The Twins hope the veteran reliever will be available Tuesday when they visit the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Guerrier, who had surgery in August to reattach the flexor tendon near his right elbow, is now throwing all his pitches.
“Hopefully he’s a bullpen or two away from getting in a game next week,” Antony said. “I think he should be on schedule. All the reports have been positive.”
Jason Bartlett looked at his clubhouse stall before Wednesday’s game and exclaimed: “I have more gloves than bats.”
He had a couple infielder’s gloves, an outfielder’s glove and even a first baseman’s glove. Such is the life of a utility player — or at least the life Bartlett wants to live with the Twins. He’s back after a 1½-year layoff to try to land a utility role.
He started at second base Sunday against Tampa Bay, the first time he’s ever played a game at that position. He said Wednesday that he’s going to start at first base soon.
He borrowed an outfielder’s glove and first baseman’s glove from Jason Kubel. Who knew Kubel had a first baseman’s glove?
Bartlett batted second Wednesday, an attempt to get him more at-bats. Bartlett said he feels comfortable at the plate but entered the game 0-for-7.
“Just waiting for that first [hit], then the rest will come,” he said.
Ricky Nolasco will make his second spring start when he faces the Cardinals on Thursday at Hammond Stadium. Brian Duensing, Casey Fein, Anthony Swarzak, Aaron Thompson, Logan Darnell, Lester Oliveros and Brooks Raley are scheduled to pitch. Adam Wainwright will start for the defending National League champions.
La VELLE E. NEAL III