It has been well-documented that the Minnesota Twins will be aggressive in their pursuit for starting pitching this offseason, and they are already showing interest in one of the top available starters on the market. According to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, the team has already formally expressed interest in right-hander Ervin Santana.
Santana, who turns 31 in December, is expected to demand a four or five-year deal this offseason, which may put him outside of Minnesota's price range. The former Angel and Royal received a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from Kansas City on Monday, and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported in October that a reunion between Santana and the Royals is still a possibility. As one of the top free agent starters available this winter, Santana is expected to draw significant interest from many teams looking to add a top-of-the-rotation arm.
In addition to Santana, Wolfson notes he Twins have also checked in on righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who also received a qualifying offer from the Indians. While Jimenez could accept the offer to capitalize on its average annual value, the Twins will surely show at least some interest in him if he declines.
The team is only expected to show lukewarm interest in Josh Johnson, who did not receive a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays. As MLBTradeRumors.com reported on Tuesday, the Twins are not one of the teams who are currently interested in Randy Messenger, who is considering a return to the United States after three dominant seasons in Japan. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Messenger has set a November 15 offer for major league teams to make offers, and has a three-year offer to remain in Japan.
In addition to Santana, Jimenez and Johnson, the Twins are also expected to show interest in Ricky Nolasco and Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon. As Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press recently reported, the team has kept a keen eye on Yoon in recent years and is expected to make a serious run at him this winter.