In my angst about losing Michael Cuddyer, I forgot to properly welcome free agent OF Josh Willingham, formerly of the Oakland A's. His numbers are very similar the Cuddyer's, with maybe a smidge more power. And according to some of the California writers, he's a stand up guy.
Unless things change, Willingham is expected to play right field. He doesn't have much experience playing right. That may become a factor if baserunners entertain notions on taking an extra base, as his throwing arm isn't as strong as Cuddyer's.
And, now I'll make every effort to never compare Willingham to Cuddyer again. Cuddy has some very big shoes to fill, but Josh has his own shoes. I remember that Josh hit a monster home run in Target Field that went just to the right of the Budweiser Party Deck. I'm hoping for more of that.
More Minor League Signings
These with invitations to spring training.
The Twins have signed IF Sean Burroughs, RHP J.P. Walters, C J.R. Towles, 1B/3B Steve Pearce, LHP Aaron Thompson, and re-signed C Rene Rivera.
That seems like a lot of catchers -- Mauer, Doumit, Butera, Towles, and Rivera. However, considering how weak the position was in 2011, there's no such thing as too much of a good thing.
Former General Manager Bill Smith has accepted a position in the Twins organization as an assistant to the president and to the general manager. He'll oversee the relationship with the minor league affiliates, player development in Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and the renovations of the spring training facility in Fort Myers.
I'm happy to hear that he'll stay with the Twins. Even though he was probably a lousy general manager, he seemed like a pretty good guy. It would have been a bummer if he had no livelihood.
Remember That Catch?
You know the one...Ben Revere's catch? Well, apparently a lot of other baseball fans remember it too, because Ben Revere won a GIBBY (Greatness In BaseBall Yearly) award for Play Of The Year. The GIBBY awards are voted on by fans, media, MLB front office personnel, and MLB alumni.