Minnesota Twins sign Carlos Santana, Jay Jackson to 1-year deals

Carlos Santana #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers in action against the New York Yankees during a game at Yankee Stadium on September 8, 2023 in New York City. ( (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Twins announced Wednesday they have signed Carlos Santana and Jay Jackson to one-year contracts.

Santana, 37, comes to the Twins out of free agency after splitting the 2023 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers. He hit a combined .240 with 33 doubles, 23 home runs and had 86 RBI, 65 walks and six stolen bases in 146 games. 

Santana spent 10 of his first 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, where he hit .251 with 216 homers, 273 doubles and 14 triples in more than 1,300 games. Santana gives the Twins an option both at first base, and designated hitter. The Twins currently have a combination of Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda and Kyle Farmer that they can put at first base.

"Cool day on a lot of fronts to introduce Carlos Santana as the newest member of the Twins. This is a guy who is a leader, is a tremendous teammate who shows up every day to play, is going to be a guy who will do anything you ask of him," Twins President of Basetball Operations Derek Falvey said. "We felt like this was a great fit for our organization."

Santana told reporters via Zoom on Wednesday that he worked out with Jorge Polanco and Willi Castro in the offseason. Polanco told him he would be a good fit for the Twins.

"There’s a lot of reasons why I came to the Twins. One of them I’ve known Derek since I was in the Cleveland organization. We’ve always played against the Twins, I like their stadium and I’m very happy to be a part of Twins Territory now," Santana said.

Jackson, 36, appeared in 25 gamers last season for the Toronto Blue Jays and went 3-1 with a 2.12 earned run average, limiting opponents to a .171 batting average. He had 27 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings.

He’s pitched with the Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves over five big league seasons. He’ll join a bullpen that includes Jhoan Duran, Jorge Alcala, Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar, Justin Topa and others.

The Twins report to Spring Training with the first workout for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 14.