The fact that the Twins are actually doing things worth talking about in November is quite uncharacteristic. Usually by the time the winter meetings start in December, fans are so hungry for news they're actually excited for those meetings to begin (and then the Twins don't usually do anything anyway, so it's it mostly wasted energy). I'm not sure if I should be excited or frightened about all this November activity. It's just so new to me...
On with the news and rumors of the week.
Another New Guy to Welcome Soon
The Twins have signed former Pirate backup catcher, outfielder, and first-baseman Ryan Doumit to a one-year deal, pending ... you guessed it ... a physical. This is a solid signing for the Twins. He can back up at a few positions or be a DH. He's a decent hitter with some occasional pop. Seems like he'll be a good bench guy.
Speaking of Pending Physicals...
The Twins finalized their deal with Jamey Carroll. So the clubhouse manager can go ahead and figure out which locker to give him.
More Minor League Moves
The Twins have added six more players to minor-league contracts: RHP Jason Bulger, OF Matt Carson, RHP Samuel Deduno, RHP Luis Perdomo, OF Wilkin Ramirez, RHP Brendan Wise.
I don't know anything about any of these players, but I sincerely hope that all these players help improve the Twins minor league system.
The 40-man Shuffle
Friday was the deadline for teams to submit their reserve lists (40-man rosters for the bigs, 38-man rosters for AAA) for their Major and Minor League clubs in preparation for the Rule 5 draft in during the winter meetings. The Twins removed RHP David Bromberg and added OF Oswaldo Arcia, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, and LHP Tyler Robertson.
That puts the roster at 38 (including a saved seat spot for Doumit).
The Collective Bargaining Agreement in Agreement?
There are many rumors going around that Major League Baseball and the Players Association are close to a new collective bargaining agreement. I even read that they have a "handshake" agreement.
I don't know too much about it; it all still speculation. I'll read up on it when it becomes official, but early reports include some new Type A and Type B compensation rules (at least for relief pitchers) and the implementation of hGH screening.
The current agreement expires December 11.
Someone Bought the Astros and Wound Up Changing Everything For Everybody
The Houston Astros were for sale, and someone bought them. Ok, fine.
And for some reason, that made MLB want to move them from the NL to the AL. Seems fair enough -- there were 14 teams in the AL (with only 4 teams in the AL West) and 16 teams in the NL (with 6 teams in the NL central).
And for some reason, having an odd number of teams in both leagues means that they'll have to have more interleague games throughout the season. An interleague series will occur almost every week. Which would be fine if the leagues had the same rules, but the whole DH thing mucks that up, so...
And for some reason, having all this interleaguing and realigning means that the playoff format needs to change too. A second wild card team will be added in each league, and then they'll have a one-game play in game between the wild card teams in each league. This is supposedly to encourage teams to win their divisions outright, but, as if 162 games weren't enough, the poor wild card teams have to have it all come down to one stinking game. And what if there has to be a tie-breaking game just to get to the wild-card game? Oy...
The new playoff format is subject to the new CBA, but it sounds like both sides are on board. While the Astros move to the AL and the league realigning will probably happen in 2013, MLB wants to start the new playoff format as soon as this coming season.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. In addition to all the usual, but sincere, wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity for all my wonderful readers, I also have one other hope ...
I hope I don't wake up on Thanksgiving morning hearing that Michael Cuddyer or Joe Nathan have signed with another team. I'll never forgive Torii Hunter for doing that to me on Thanksgiving 2007.