Ervin Santana ready to join Twins after 80-game suspension

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Ervin Santana, who signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Twins this offseason and then got suspended 80 games for PEDs before throwing a pitch, is now ready to join the rotation.

Santana has been “rehabbing” in the minors to prepare for being activated from the suspended list and he made his final Triple-A start Tuesday, throwing eight shutout innings.

Santana went 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio in three Triple-A starts and is scheduled to make his Twins debut July 5 against the Royals. His joining the rotation means the Twins will have to go to a six-man setup for a while or bump someone, with Tommy Milone and Trevor May the most likely candidates.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.