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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
Trading established players for prospects is the sign of a rebuilding team, and that is certainly what we've seen from Terry Ryan with his first few major moves this offseason. Many casual fans have expressed outrage over trades that sent Denard Span and Ben Revere – cornerstones in the Minnesota outfield – to the NL East for young pitching geared more toward the big picture than immediate improvement.
The two prizes acquired in these deals, Alex Meyer
Jon 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
If you were surprised in any way by return in the Denard Span trade, you shouldn't have been. Terry Ryan told us this was coming four months ago.
Back in July, with the trade deadline approaching, Ryan spoke about his approach:
As desperate as the Twins are to find starting pitching for 2013, a Liriano or Denard Span trade might not even address that specific need. Speaking only generally Thursday, GM Terry Ryan said, "When you're out there looking around, I think it's
Last 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
With 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
Ask Terry Ryan what his payroll limitation is for next year and he'll tell you that he doesn't view payroll as a limitation. It's his way of sidestepping an important question, possibly at the behest of an ownership that has notoriously shied away from big spending.
Ryan can downplay the importance of allotted budget and the significance of $85 million versus $100 million all he wants, but there's no escaping the fact that his level of financial flexibility
The 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