With Santana returning to Twins soon, who will be the odd man out?

Who will be the odd man out of the Twins' rotation when Ervin Santana returns?

Tony Gutierrez/Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Ervin Santana was the biggest free agent signing in franchise history for the Minnesota Twins.

So you can guarantee he’ll be getting a spot in the starting rotation when he’s eligible to return from his suspension on July 5.

Santana is expected to provide a spark to the Twins pitching staff, but his return means manager Paul Molitor will have a tough decision when it comes to making room in the starting rotation.

So who will be the odd man out?

As it sits right now, the Twins starting five consists of Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Mike Pelfrey, and Tommy Milone.

The guys at Twinkie Town suggest a trade may be on the horizon:

"You could make an argument for trading any one of those five pitchers, which says something about the 180 that Minnesota’s rotation has done since last year. Moving Hughes, Gibson, or May would likely yield the largest return, but they’re also the three starters who are most likely to have the most value for the Twins over the next three or four years. As it stands right now, Hughes and Gibson are under team control through 2019; May is under team control through 2020. Suffice it to say that the Twins would have to be very motivated to move any of them.

"That leaves us with Tommy Milone, Minnesota’s lone left-handed starter. He’s only 28, and he too has multiple years of team control remaining as he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season. To top it all off he’s on a bit of a roll, and through eight starts he now owns a 3.59 ERA in 47.2 innings."

While trading Milone seems to make the most sense for the Twins, the team might rather keep him around — and option him to Triple-A — for depth purposes.

With Santana’s return just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how things unfold over the next few weeks.

(h/t Twinkie Town)