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Feeling Minnesota: Kendrys Morales signs, Danny Santana surges

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Morales to Minnesota (USAT)

And on a weekend afternoon in early June, the biggest miscalculation of Scott Boras's career is finally over. The last of his big-name free-agent pieces has found a home – and the mystery team wins again.

Kendrys Morales and the Twins came to terms on a one-year deal Saturday, pending a physical. He's going to make a pro-rated share of $12 million. As soon as Morales is ready for game action, he'll probably be the team's designated hitter. Jason Kubel's days in Minnesota could be just about over.

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The fantasy speculators in the crowd were surely hoping for a different landing spot. Like any switch hitter, Morales will be batting left-handed most of the time – and Target Field absolutely suffocates left-handed power. That said, it's been a neutral park in other areas over the last few years (scoring, right-handed pop), so let's not mistake this place for the Houston Astrodome. The home stadium is a knock against Morales, not a death sentence.

Minnesota doesn't have to forfeit a draft pick for Morales, of course. A compensatory pick was tied to him until the recent First Year Player Draft – a fact of life which obviously discouraged bidders. The same condition applied to Stephen Drew, who eventually joined up with the Red Sox a couple of weeks ago. (A few months back, Boras compared the players's situation to jail. Orange is the new black, I guess.)

Morales has first-base eligibility in Yahoo and is unowned in 77 percent of leagues. If I were shuffling the corners right now, I'd have Morales around $10-11 – the Jon Singleton neighborhood. Add as needed. He hit in the .270s the last two years, despite unfavorable parks (Anaheim, Seattle). Here's a back-of-envelope projection: .273-27-12-38-0.

If you're in the mood for a Minnesota longshot, maybe Danny Santana can help. He's been getting run as the leadoff man this week, and he's off to a .373/.408/.493 start through 67 MLB at-bats. He's 3-for-3 on steals, and he carries three positions of eligibility (second, short, outfield) in Yahoo's game.

Santana had four hits, five RBIs and one steal in Saturday's 8-0 victory over Houston. He's been sharing center field with Aaron Hicks – though Santana was Saturday's DH. His minor-league profile won't knock your socks off (and he strikes out too much for a 5-foot-11, 160-pound outfielder), but he did bat .297 in Double-A last year, with 30 steals. And just being around Minnesota coach (and baserunning guru) Paul Molitor is a good thing.

Santana is ready for a tire-kick in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues.

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