Minnesota Twins

Ervin Santana criticizes obvious moves by Twins front office

The Minnesota Twins were an obvious trade deadline seller, but Ervin Santana has taken an opportunity to critique the front office.

Heading into the July 31 trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins had lost three of four games to fall nine games back of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. They had already started to be a seller, moving Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, Lance Lynn and Zach Duke. Then, just before the deadline, Brian Dozier was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Entering Saturday, the Twins were 11 games behind the Indians and 14.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card. Reliever Fernando Rodney went to the Oakland Athletics after being claimed off waivers Thursday night, and that appears to be the last straw for Ervin Santana.

Santana allowed five runs over six innings Friday night, in his fourth start of the season after February finger surgery and a lengthy rehab. But his best pitch of the night might have been the fastball he sent in the general direction of Twins general manager Thad Levine and executive vice president/chief baseball officer Derek Falvey after the loss to the Detroit Tigers.

It’s tough, especially when we’re only 10 games out and we have two months left,” “Everybody’s like, ‘They gave up.’ We’re not giving up, but they did. They took our pieces away, and it’s difficult to play without our good pieces. You know what I mean? So we just have to play with what we have and try to win games.

“Only” 10 games out with two months left? Days before Dozier was traded, he lamented Escobar and Pressly being dealt. That was a repeat of his criticism of the front office at 2017 trade deadline when the Twins shifted into sell-mode before rallying to earn a Wild Card spot.

But this year’s Twins’ team looks far different than last year’s, and there were no signs of a late push for a spot in the postseason. A bunch of one-year contracts and expiring deals is a recipe for a trade deadline seller. Santana, with a $14 million club option ($1 million buyout) for 2019, could be the next to go at some point this month.

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