August 31st marked the end of an era for the Minnesota Twins. Justin Morneau had been a cornerstone for perennial contenders, and although those days were long past by the time of his departure, the fans never forgot.
In the big picture, the decision to trade Morneau was essentially a no-brainer. Still, one got the sense that it didn't come easily.
The Twins were going nowhere, and dealing the impending free agent allowed them to recoup some
The more I think about the swap that the Twins have made at the designated hitter position, the more I like it. By signing Jason Kubel to a non-guaranteed, incentive-laden contract and trading away Ryan Doumit's guaranteed $3.5 million salary, they have made a sound financial decision that could pay dividends on the field.
But in doing so, they're also committing to a plan at the DH position that is shaky at best. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
While Kubel has never
Last 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.
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:
On 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,
Monday'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
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
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
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
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.