One of the more interesting times in every offseason is when the rhetoric goes away and the choices become, often painfully, clear. Rock, meet Hard Place.
The Hard Place is where the Twins are: fronting a rotation with Scott Diamond next year. Diamond, by Twins general manager Terry Ryanís own analysis, is a #3 starter. Heís clearly scouring the winter meetings for upgrades. But like Charlie Brown at Halloween, all heís getting is a whole lot of Rock.
Here are the available
This weekend is the unofficial start of the Hot Stove Season, because this weekend the MLB General Managers are having their annual offseason meetings in Indian Wells, California. It's not the more hyped "Winter Meetings" that take place next month, but it's still 30 GMs and their assistants, all in the same place, and rumor-mongering galore. Irresponsible, glorious, rumor-mongering.
Twins fans have more reason than most to pay attention. Terry Ryan indicated in his TwinsCentric interview
We're approaching the time when a long-time Twins player is going to be traded away. It will likely be Denard Span.
In our interview for the 2013 Offseason Handbook, Terry Ryan was careful, but stated the obvious. When talking about Chris Parmelee being a regular, Ryan admitted "We're going to try and fit [Chris Parmelee] in there somewhere, without tipping my hand too far."
Fitting Parmelee into the lineup as a regular means playing him at first base or in right field.
In the TwinsCentric interview with Terry Ryan last week, (the 9-page entirety of which you can find in the 2013 Offseason Handbook), we asked about his confidence in Trevor Plouffe.
John Bonnes: Are you comfortable with [Trevor] Plouffe at third base?
Terry Ryan: Well, he needs some work too. Defensively, heís a work in progress.
JB: He hasnít played that much at third base in the minors, right?
TR: No, he hasnít, but heís and ex-shortstop
In our TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook, weíre including a transcript from a 45-minute meeting "State of the Twins" interview with Terry Ryan. As you can imagine, an 8000-word interview covers a lot of topics, including:
the strengths of the new coaching staff,Joe Mauerís future at catcher,additional offseason priorities beyond starting pitching,how Twins approach waiver wire or minor league free agents,thoughts on the state of the Twins minor leagues,his evaluation
Iím having trouble getting into the second round of the playoffs. I donít really want either the Yankees or the Tigers to make the World Series, which means I canít even root for the American League. The official team of The Voice Of Reasonô - the Phillies Ė is also out for the first time in years. But part of it is because Iím ready for the next act.
Oddly, I donít think Iíve looked forward to an offseason this much in years. For starters, itíll be nice