Milwaukee Brewers: Is Ervin Santana an option?

The Milwaukee Brewers can still add a starting pitcher in August. Could they find a fit with the Minnesota Twins and Ervin Santana?

Ervin Santana made his season debut last month. The good news is that he wasn’t out with a shoulder or an elbow issue. He missed time with complications from surgery on his right middle finger. He’s only made two starts with the Twins this year, but he could find a new home in August. Is Santana the last piece for the 2018 Milwaukee Brewers roster?

How has Santana performed this year?

In the two starts he’s made at the Major League level? He’s worked 10 1/3 innings and owns a 6.10 ERA. He has six strikeouts and three walks.

His velocity is down…way down, actually. He’s only averaged 89.2 MPH on his fastball so far. However, it’s important to remember that this is his April. He’s still building back his arm strength, but this is not a good look.

Wasn’t he good last year?

Really good! Santana posted a 16-8 record with a 3.28 ERA in 211 1/3 innings. Santana’s 3.2 WAR was his highest mark since 2008.

How about his contract?

Santana has a team option for $16 million with a buyout worth $1 million. He also has a vesting option for 2020 that he has absolutely no chance to reach.

Was there any buzz about Santana at the deadline?

Rumor has it that the New York Yankees checked in, but Santana wasn’t linked to the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s pretty clear that Brewers GM David Stearns was aiming a little higher.

Is he a fit for the Brewers?

Well, he’s more interesting than James Shields and has a better track record than Matt Harvey. The velocity looks ugly, sure, but most starters don’t reach peak velocity until July. Santana is three months behind.

The Milwaukee Brewers need to monitor Santana’s starts. If his velocity starts creeping toward 91 or 92 MPH, Santana makes sense. If Santana continues to only reach the high 80’s on his fastball, he’s a stay away.

The Twin have already flipped Lance Lynn and Brian Dozier. They’re very likely to move on from Santana in the next few weeks. The Milwaukee Brewers need to do their due diligence, but they don’t need to rush out and acquire Santana right away. If they want to add a veteran arm and Santana works his way into form, he’s a fit. If he doesn’t, they should look elsewhere.