There is little debate over the fact that the Twins' moves this offseason haven't done much to help ensure significant improvement in 2013. This club seems to have its sights set fully on a target somewhere further down the line. Among fans and media, there seems to be a split between people who question this approach and those who accept it.
Whatever your feelings on the matter, it's important to be realistic about the timeline for building a contending
Justin Morneau presents a paradox for the 2013 Twins. If the club is truly in full rebuild mode and is more interested in saving money than taking financial risks in a meaningful effort to compete -- as appears to be the case -- then why hang on to an expensive veteran with one year left on his contract? Surely some team out there would be willing to take on Morneau, although there probably wouldn't be much of a return in the swap.
The answer, I believe,
In less than four weeks, a sizable contingent of pitchers will report to Ft. Myers for spring training, with eyes on claiming a spot in Minnesota's rebuilt rotation. Rarely has it been so unclear at this point in the offseason who would comprise this vital unit.
We can safely assume that, barring injury, three of the five spots will be occupied by Scott Diamond, Vance Worley and Kevin Correia. Beyond them, the situation becomes much murkier.
In his latest column for ESPN 1500, Phil Mackey opens with the following statement: "Unlike in the previous two offseasons, there will be no over-promising and under-delivering by the Minnesota Twins in 2013."
Incidentally, that's pretty much exactly how I would describe this offseason for the Twins. Over-promising and under-delivering. Terry Ryan talked at length in the early days of winter about moving aggressively to upgrade the club's beleaguered pitching
The past two seasons have been filled with disappointment and negative outcomes, but one of the few resoundingly encouraging developments has been the emergence of Glen Perkins at the back end of the bullpen. After fizzling as a starter, Perkins made a supremely successful transition to relief duty and, after signing a contract extension last year, he's in position to provide the Twins with stability at the closer spot for years to come, as long as he can stay
The Twins have taken a "quantity, not quality" approaching in assembling their starting rotation this winter, piling up numerous pitchers with limited upside and low price tags. Several of the hurlers that will be in the mix for starting jobs in the spring happen to be tagged with question marks due to recent health issues.
Kyle Gibson returned late last year from Tommy John surgery and hasn't yet pitched in the majors. Mike Pelfrey is returning from
A new year is upon us, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine the Twins' resolution for 2013: Get better. After consecutive putrid seasons that were essentially over by the All-Star break, the club is aiming to field a more competitive group in the coming campaign and beyond.
Certainly they've made some nice moves to address the "beyond" part, but what about the short-term? As I discussed with Aaron on the Gleeman and the Geek podcast
With Mr. Bonnes still out of town, I stood in as the geek of the week with Aaron Gleeman for the latest GATG podcast. We spent about 100 minutes babbling about baseball and the Twins, discussing our favorite free agent pitching deals thus far and talking big picture for the local nine. Check out the latest episode via any of these channels:
the podcaststhe rss feed if you want to subscribe andthe podcast on iTunes.
Through free agent signings and trades, the Twins have added three names to their 2013 starting pitching mix, along with a couple prospects who can help down the line.
As we assess the progress of this rebuilding unit, can we say with assurance that the three MLB pitchers they've added – Vance Worley, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey – are significantly better than the three that just exited as free agents – Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Scott Baker?
Terry Ryan hasn't exactly sugarcoated his approach to repairing the Twins' woeful pitching staff this offseason. It's about quantity, not quality.
"We've got numbers," the general manager said last week. "It's just a matter of who is going to emerge. Some guys will be injured. Some will fall by the wayside. Some won't be ready. But we have to have numbers."
Ryan is apparently poised to increase that number again, with reports arising over the
As the slow early weeks of this offseason dragged on, we kept hearing the same refrain:
Just wait until Zack Greinke signs. Then all of the dominoes will begin to fall.
True story. We're seeing it now. On Monday, the Dodgers announced they'd signed the game's premier free agent to a monstrous six-year, $147 million deal. In the days since, other top names have begun to quickly come off the board.
On Thursday, the Angels landed Josh
For the first time in his tenure as manager, Ron Gardenhire will enter the 2013 season without a contract extension in place that carries him beyond the coming year. Lacking job security, Gardenhire spoke openly last week about the possibility of moving on.
"If I don't make it through this year, I'll be OK," Gardenhire told reporters during the Winter Meetings. "I've had a great opportunity here, I love the Minnesota Twins, I love where I'm at and hopefully
Terry Ryan has seemed exasperated when discussing his efforts on the free agent market this offseason. In an interview on MLB Network shortly after the Ben Revere trade took place, the Twins' general manager reacted incredulously to Ken Rosenthal's suggestion that it might behoove him to get on his horse and sign a pitcher.
"We've tried," Ryan chuckled. "Sometimes you just can't give your money away."
Well, Terry, you have finally managed to
After the Twins parted with franchise mainstay Torii Hunter back in 2007, they needed to make a decision about who would take his place in the middle of the outfield. Finding a veteran placeholder was an option, but instead they ultimately decided to go straight to Hunter's heir apparent: a raw but tremendously athletic kid acquired in the Johan Santana trade.
Carlos Gomez was clearly rough around the edges when he assumed the important roles of center fielder