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  1. Pitching Central

    James Shields is now a Kansas City RoyalA 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 ...
  2. Gleeman and the Geek Episode 74: Pitching Preferences, Payroll and Hicks

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Size:  4.4 KBWith 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:


  3. Correia Signing is a Sad Thing

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Size:  17.0 KBTerry 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 ...
  4. Is Marcum the Twins' Best Hope?

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Size:  17.5 KBJon Morosi of FoxSports.com reported via Twitter on Tuesday that the Twins have "checked in" on right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum. This isn't really noteworthy, since Terry Ryan has already told reporters that he's been in contact with the agents for every free agent starter, but Marcum's name in particular is an interesting one.

    Most of the pitchers that the Twins have been specifically connected to thus far names like Joe Blanton, Brett Myers and John ...
  5. Winter Meetings Set to Commence

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ID:	2774Last weekend, I traveled down to Nashville to see one of my best friends get married. The fantastic event took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which coincidentally is where general managers and other key executives from around baseball will congregate next week for the annual Winter Meetings.

    Rather than flying, we elected to drive down to Tennessee for the wedding. It was a slow, dull, 14-hour road trip that involved ...
  6. Cubs Signings Spell Trouble for Twins

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ID:	2746With as many as four spots needing to be filled in the rotation, it figured that Terry Ryan with his traditionally risk-averse nature in free agency would target low-cost pitchers with upside who could be acquired on one-year deals. This strategy makes sense for a couple reasons: it adds multiple options to the starting pitching mix without requiring huge commitments, and hurlers looking for the one-year make-good deal ought be more apt to sign with a club that ...
  7. The Rising Tide

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ID:	2712The free agent market has been slow to develop early in the offseason, with very few high-profile signings in the books as Thanksgiving approaches. Things should start kicking into gear now that the Winter Meetings are just two weeks away, but it's worth wondering whether the first few contracts are indicators of how the offseason climate will shape up once the dominos really begin to fall.

    When the Cubs lured Scott Baker away from the Twins earlier in the ...
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  8. Baker Follows a Good Deal

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ID:	2679It didn't come as a surprise that Scott Baker signed a contract just a couple weeks into this offseason. He's not the first recognizable pitcher to come off the board, as Bartolo Colon and Hisashi Iwakuma preceded him.

    Baker is, however, the first to land with a new team. And I think that does come as a surprise to a lot of people, given the Twins' well publicized efforts to bring him back.

    Baker didn't spend much time testing the open market, ...
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  9. Eyes on Torii

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Size:  53.5 KBIt was right around this time in 2007 that Torii Hunter officially left the Twins, signing a five-year, $90 million contract with the Angels. That total was more than most people thought he'd get in free agency, and it was widely believed that the Halos had overpaid, but Hunter made good on the deal, hitting .286/.352/.462 while averaging 21 homers over five seasons.

    Hunter just finished up the final year of that contract, and although he missed 22 games ...
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  10. Power Sources

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ID:	2575At a glance, one would think that Minnesota's power output this year was well above the norm. Josh Willingham launched 35 bombs and fellow newcomer Ryan Doumit chipped in 18. Trevor Plouffe's 24 were a pleasant surprise, as were Justin Morneau's 19. Even Joe Mauer delivered 10 long balls just his third time reaching double digits.

    Despite all of those big power performances, the Twins tied with the Royals for fewest home runs in the American League. While ...
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  11. Could the Twins Sign Zack Greinke?

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ID:	2530The World Series is almost underway, which means that the official start of the offseason is rapidly approaching. When the free agent market opens up, one of the central figures will be Zack Greinke, who is the clear top dog in a deep pitching pack. The former Cy Young winner offers ace-level ability, youth and a durable track record.

    Sure, there are a few question marks surrounding the right-hander, who turns 29 this weekend. He's had some anxiety issues ...
  12. Where Should Payroll Sit in 2013?

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ID:	2508Since they moved into Target Field, the Twins have seen payroll rise and fall, from $96 million in the opening season, up to $112 million the following year, down to $94 million in 2012.

    The rise to $112 million last year was purportedly the result of a push to take the next step after falling short in the 2010 postseason. The subsequent scaling back by nearly $20 million was easy enough to figure; the Twins had lost 99 games which led to reduced revenue ...
  13. Lottery Tickets

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ID:	2486Five spots in next year's rotation. One guy locked in.

    It's hard to look at the daunting uncertainty in Minnesota's rotation as a good thing, but there are some fringe benefits to the situation. One is that it may be easier for Terry Ryan to lure in pitchers who are left without a seat and forced to sign minor-league contracts when the music stops on this offseason's free agent class.

    There could be quite a few of those guys standing around ...
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  14. Estimating SP Contracts

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ID:	2472Each year in our Offseason Handbook, we put together a list of all the upcoming free agents at every position. Beyond the write-ups and statistical breakdowns for each player, we estimate the contract we expect them to get, so that armchair GMs can fit prospective acquisitions into their budgets.

    This is an aspect of the publication that we take very seriously. In fact, every year, we set aside a day for the entire editorial staff to get together and reach ...
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