Monday, December 17, 2012

Quick Notes - Dec. 17 and the WABAC Machine

It's been a while since I've updated, and addition to the Span and Revere trades that I did write about, there's been some activity I need to mention.

When I last did an update, it was right before the contract-tender deadline and the Winter Meetings. Let's go back in time three weeks to catch up.

Sherman, set the WABAC machine ...

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November 30, 2012
Contract-tender Day. This was the date when teams had to decide whether to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, ensuring that the players stay with the team and likely get a pay raise.

The Twins tendered contracts to Brain Duensing, Jared Burton, and, to my surprise, Drew Butera. However, they declined to offer a contract to Lester Oliveros, who then became a free agent. But then he turned around and re-signed a minor-league contract with the Twins, so it's all good.

And, yes, I didn't even know Lester Oliveros was arbitration-eligible. I had done a fair amount of research, but apparently not enough.

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December 3, 2012
Fifth anniversary of this very blog. 

I remember one of the first posts was something about stressing over Bill Smith's first Winter Meetings where I expected Johan Santana was going to be traded. 

I also remember a few days later the Tigers acquiring Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

These things I remember. Where my cheater glasses are...not so much.

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December 6, 2012
Rule 5 Draft Day. The Twins select RHP Ryan Pressly from the Boston Red Sox.

He's 23 and most likely going to be in the bullpen. It's hard to get excited about Rule 5 draftees; there's a reason they weren't placed on their original team's 40-man roster. But he's young and seems kind of promising.

At any rate, he'll have to be on the Twins' active roster for the entire 2013 season. If the Twins want to take him off the active roster, they'll have to offer him back to the Red Sox or work out a trade.

No one takes any players away from the Twins.

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December 7-11, 2012
Twins sign a whole bunch of players I've never heard of, and Clete Thomas, to minor-league contracts.

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December 13, 2012
Twins sign free agent RHP Kevin Correia.

When I first saw this news, I thought, well, this probably isn't another another Jason Marquis situation. Then I did some research...strictly National League pitcher, in his 30s, beefy ERA, doesn't strike anyone out.

Yeah, it's another Jason Marquis situation.

Crossing fingers that it'll all turn out ok.

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The Twins reportedly are in agreement to sign free agent RHP Mike Pelfrey, pending a physical.

Ok, the Twins may fool me once with signing Jason Marquis redux, but they're not going to fool me twice. This time, research before opinion.

Hmm...strictly National League pitcher, 28, beefy ERA, doesn't strike anyone out. Oh, and he's coming off Tommy John surgery.


Crossing toes now too.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bye, Benny

In the span of one week, the Twins have traded two speedy centerfielders. And both times, I've had mixed feelings about the deals.

Just when Twins fans handed over the responsibilities of centerfielder, lead off hitter, and 'big brother' to the up-and-coming outfielders to Ben Revere, he was traded to the Phillies for two right-handed pitchers. And just when fans were getting past losing Denard Span, another fun-to-watch, popular player was torn away from us.

Once again, many fans are upset. But for the front office to take this shambles of a ball club somewhere close (or closer, at least) to contention is going to be risky, and messy, ... and painful. And necessary.

Sure, having popular players around puts a few butts in the seats. However, winning baseball games puts a lot more butts in the seats. And for the current state of the Twins, talented starting pitching is more useful to the organization than popularity.

I like the Revere trade more than the Span trade, merely because the Twins received more in return. The Twins received starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.

Worley will be in the starting rotation right away. He recently had minor elbow clean-up surgery, but he claims he's already fully healed. He didn't have the greatest season in 2012, but he was actually outstanding in 2011. And his nickname is "Vanimal."

May is a highly-regarded prospect, although probably not quite as high as Alex Meyer, whom they got for Denard Span. He didn't have the best numbers in AA last season, so I can't really tell if he'll start 2013 in AAA or repeat AA for a bit.

It's still unclear who will be the centerfielder for the Twins now. The official corporate line is that Darin Mastroianni, Joe Benson, and Aaron Hicks will have opportunities to earn the spot in Spring Training.

I wish Ben all the best in Philly. And, of course, I hope his new fans take good care of him.

I guess I'm not as worried as I was about Ben's ability to get on base.