Santana's bat had fewer questions than his defense as he came up through the system. His bat has shown up, but those questions about his defense remain, at least at SS. He could very well be the stop-gap to Byron Buxton in CF (Hopefully Bux can put this season behind him, get healthy and get back to tearing up MiLB levels in 2015).
I hope Aaron Hicks can be that stop gap. Which brings us back to Santana at SS. Can he be an everyday SS? If he bat stays hot and he stays healthy then he can and should play at SS, but he's a candidate for some SERIOUS regression in 2015. I'm done waiting for him to fall back to earth, but it's got to happen, right? I'm not sold on Santana as a long-term SS, but if he can provide a level of offense defense similiar to what Eduardo Escobar is doing this season, there's no reason to not play Santana everyday.
And that brings us to Escobar. I love what he's done this season, doubles machine, solid (not great) defense at SS. He makes the plays he should but doesn't get to much else, and although he passes the eye test, I'm not sure he's an elite level defender. But he's 25 and seems to have figured some things out offensively. The twins should definitely not give up on this guy, and his versatility makes him even more valuable. I think he profiles best as a utilitiy guy on a contending team, but the Twins don't have a contending team, so if someone can play a passable CF and Santana plays good D, Escobar could be a great third-baseman. And if Aaron Hicks stinks it up again, or moves to a corner, leave Danny out in CF and let Escboar play SS.
It's a great problem to have.
But I still don't think it would be out of the question for the Twins to look at bringing in a veteran SS on a short contract (3 years or less).Why not?