Minnesota has signed lefthander Kenny Rogers to a one-year, two-million-dollar contract tonight to replace injured Eric Milton. That means that Johan Santana will probably return to the bullpen from whence he came this spring and that millions of rotisserie-league GMs, who were ready to jump on the Santana bandwagon, are now scrambling to recover.
Rogers was pretty good last year but had not had a truly superior season since 1998 in Oakland (16-8 and 3.17 ERA, 44% better than the league average). Before that it was 1995 with Texas: 17-7, 3.38 (38% better than average). He's now 38 and his habit of staggering his good years every fourth or fifth season means that his next one may not come until after he retires. He'll have a heck of a shuffleboard season come 2008.
Maybe he'll be able to duplicate his 2002 numbers, but I'm skeptical. I'd rather go with the kid, but I guess they could have done worse. Rogers also staggers his really bad seasons (1991, 1997, and 2001). His really bad seasons seem to be followed by one really good one and then slightly above average ones for 2-3 years. So the Twins may have a pitcher who's slightly better than league average and given Milton's slide over the last four years (his ERA adjusted for league average has gotten worse each year), that may be enough.