On Tuesday, as expected, all three free-agent players that the Twins offered arbitration to; Carl Pavano, Jesse Crain, and Orlando Hudson; declined. So, if they all sign elsewhere, the Twins will receive four draft picks. I do expect them to try to re-sign Pavano and Crain. Unfortunately, there is a lot of interest from several other teams, so it's likely the Twins will be outbid. We'll see.
On Thursday, the Twins tendered contracts to all nine arbitration-eligible players. The odd thing was, apparently Clay Condrey was quietly released on November 5. It's odd because no one seemed to know, not even the beat writers. I guess the poor guy has been forgotten and left at the curb.
So now the Twins and the players have to get to work and accomplish the ever-important "avoid arbitration." Like I've mentioned before, no one actually wants arbitration. They've already taken care of Jason Repko and Pat Neshek and came to terms for next season.
There were a lot of rumors that the Twins weren't going to tender JJ Hardy a contract. Now that they have, there are a lot of rumors that a few teams are interested in trading for him. I hope not; I want him to be the Twins starting shortstop for awhile.
Our old friend Mike Redmond, who retired from the Cleveland Indians last mid-season, has been named the new manager of the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts (of the Toronto organization). Good for him. I read somewhere that he's always wanted to manage. In fact, he was quite close to starting a managing career years ago. When he was in AAA, his manager wanted to cut him, but he begged for two more weeks, and if it didn't work out he'd go manage somewhere. It did work out for him, and later that season, he made his major league debut.
I heard an interview with him a few days ago. He said that he knew it was time to retire when baseball became a "job." His body's been aching for a couple years, but because the Twins were winning, he was having fun and he felt better. The Indians weren't very good, and the losing wasn't fun at all. So, when they cut him, he knew it was time to call it a career.
He said the Blue Jays organization called him about managing about four hours after he announced his retirement (I couldn't really tell if he was exaggerating). He said that he was kind of hoping to take a year off to spend time with his family, but this was a great opportunity and he couldn't pass it up. He said his sons are looking forward to being bat boys.
The hosts went on to ask him about the Indians' young catcher Carlos Santana and pitcher Fausto Carmona. He already sounded like a manager as he was talking about their bright futures.
Good luck to him. Maybe in a few years, we'll see him back in the Twins organization.
Baseball's Winter Meetings start Monday in Orlando. This is when team GMs, agents, some players, media, and other baseball folks get together and talk 2011. There is a lot of hype around the event, and baseball fans seem to really look forward to it. GMs get together to talk about possible trades; agents meet with GMs to talk free agents; free agent players shmooze to try to increase their value; and all the while, media hounds are lurking around, peeking around corners, riding elevators up and down, and performing all manners of sneaking hoping to hear a bit of information. However, for all the excitement, it usually turns out to be more talk than action.
It totally reminds me of the tech writing conferences I go to. Except on the opposite end of the nerd-cool scale.