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Nick's Twins Blog

  1. Pelfrey & Baker: A Study in Arm Resilience

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ID:	6200Last offseason, the Twins faced a decision with a player who had been part of their organization for nearly a decade. Scott Baker, coming off Tommy John surgery, was a free agent, and the Twins, direly in need of pitching help, were among the teams discussing a contract with him.

    Ultimately, they backed off and let him sign with the Cubs. According to reports, the biggest stumbling block was Baker's unwillingness to include an option for a second year. ...
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  2. Rumor Mill Round-Up: 12/17

    After adding Mike Pelfrey over the weekend, the Twins have now signed three free agent starters to join Kevin Correia in the rotation, adding around $25 million to the 2014 payroll in the process. At this point, one would figure that Terry Ryan is done investing in the rotation and ready to turn his attention to the offense.

    And yet, the pitching rumors continue to persist. Here's a quick glance at all the latest offseason rumblings involving the local club:

    * I ...
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  3. Finding Positives in Pelfrey

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ID:	6183On Saturday, the news that we've been expecting for weeks finally arrived: the Twins have agreed to terms with Mike Pelfrey on a two-year contract. Ever since it was initially reported back in November that Minnesota had made a multi-year bid for the right-hander, there has been little question that a reunion was in store because, frankly, it seemed unlikely any other team would match.

    The move has been met with criticism from many fans and analysts, ...
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  4. Twins Looking for Another Pavano in Arroyo?

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ID:	6149Monday's Rumor Mill Round-Up included an update on Bronson Arroyo, who was set to meet with multiple teams -- including the Twins -- at this week's Winter Meetings.

    I judged the probability of a match being rather low, largely because I guessed the local club would cease to be aggressive bidders for a free agent of Arroyo's caliber after committing nearly $75 million Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, but Ken Rosenthal tweeted later in the day that the ...
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  5. Rumor Mill Round-Up: 12/9

    As a handy one-stop shop for all Twins-related offseason rumors, we'll be running frequent "Rumor Mill Round-Up" columns here at Twins Daily, wherein we gather up all the recent rumblings involving the local club.

    With each rumor, we'll provide some analysis and a "Steam Rating," assigning a 1-5 score to the report based on the level of level of likelihood we see for something actually materializing.

    With the annual Winter Meetings getting underway this week, he's a quick ...
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  6. The Case For Brett Anderson

    Terry Ryan is acutely aware of how difficult it is to acquire front-end starting pitching. After trading Denard Span for Alex Meyer a year ago, he explained the logic behind giving up an established major-league regular for a player who hadn't yet played above Single-A, noting that with potential No. 1 starters, "Sometimes you've got to them when they're in the early stages of their pro career or you aren't going to get them, period."

    He's right. Once a high-end pitching prospect reaches ...
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  7. Twins Finally Assembling Starting Pitching Depth

    In their first turn through the rotation this past season, the Twins sent out Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks and Pedro Hernandez.

    Opening the year with numerous backup plans already plugged into the starting five set the stage for a tumultuous campaign that exposed the organization's miserable starting pitching depth at the high levels.

    Overly lengthy auditions for guys like Worley, Hernandez and Scott Diamond, along with painful redux ...
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  8. These Ain't Your Old Twins

    Answering the same question over and over again had to be growing tiresome for Twins officials.

    Because baseball fans in general are becoming increasingly analytic in the way they watch the game (this site serves as a great example), and because the organization has earned a reputation for taking a more traditional, scouting-based approach, seemingly every interview with an exec or front office member has included some query on the Twins' progress in the area of statistical analysis. ...
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  9. Twins Make Statement With Nolasco Signing

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Size:  94.0 KBLooking over the front page of the Star Tribune's sports section on Thanksgiving morning, I couldn't help but notice the irony.

    The top story: Pat Reusse's annual "Turkey of the Year" column, in which the longtime scribe called out Terry Ryan as the top goat in Minnesota sports for the past year.

    Just below, also above the fold, was the headline, "Pitcher Nolasco headed to Twins," with a subhead indicating that the pitcher had been signed to ...
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  10. Early Signs Point to Unprecedented Aggressiveness

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ID:	6079Despite the acknowledgement of Twins officials that the club has plenty of financial flexibility this offseason, many fans have understandably been reluctant to believe that truly aggressive measures are in the offing. A lack of early activity has only served to magnify that skepticism, but as we've often noted, this isn't at all unusual in the weeks prior to the Winter Meetings, especially in a shifting marketplace.

    While we haven't seen any bold moves yet, ...
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  11. Twins Receive Bad News and Make a Minor Move

    The early weeks of the offseason have not been particularly eventful for the Twins. We've seen them connected to a few different pitchers and catchers in free agency, but like many other teams, they have been slow to act here in November. That's not unexpected; with the market going through a significant shift, both agents and team execs are still feeling things out.

    Once a few major contracts are signed, we will likely begin to see the dominoes fall at a fairly rapid pace. ...
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  12. Find Mauer's Replacement: Part 2

    So the Twins have a problem. For the first time since A.J. Pierzynski first established himself as a regular, the club lacks an entrenched stalwart behind the plate. As discussed earlier this week, the solution might be in-house, but that's far from guaranteed.

    The timing of the announcement regarding Joe Mauer's position switch at first struck me as odd. Just three weeks earlier Terry Ryan had stated that he was planning around Mauer being a full-time catcher, while also ...
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  13. Finding Mauer's Replacement: Part 1

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ID:	6018I'm not a doctor. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Nonetheless, it's been clear to me for some time that Joe Mauer was destined for a permanent move away from catcher after concussion issues cost him a quarter of his 2013 season. There was simply no way that continuing to expose the organization's most valuable asset to the heightened risk of head trauma behind the plate was going to be palatable, no matter how well his offseason recovery went. ...
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  14. Shortcuts

    "There isn't any shortcut to get where we want to go."

    Although the above quote from Terry Ryan was published back in February, the sentiment has been a common refrain for the Twins' general manager throughout his ongoing efforts to rebuild a broken product in Minnesota. No shortcuts.

    And why not? It's a nice-sounding way to quell the growing calls from a disgruntled fan base for aggressive measures to restore the franchise to contention. Shortcuts sound bad. They ...
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