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    by 02-11-2012, 05:20 PM

    The Twins are one week away from the start of spring training when pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, Florida. The team is eagar to put behind one of the worst seasons in franchise history. There has been quite a shakeup this winter to an organization that lost 99 games in 2011. Bill Smith was fired as GM in November and Terry Ryan was brought back. The Twins lost fan favorites Cuddyer, Kubel, and Nathan to free agency. Those players were replaced by solid clubhouse guys Josh Willingham,
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    by 02-11-2012, 11:58 AM

    In the next couple of days, the Alexi Casilla arbitration situation will be over. Arbitration hearings are to be complete by February 15th. The sides are not to discuss when a hearing is scheduled, so we donít know when the Twins and Casilla would have a hearing in front of an arbiter. Of course, it is also possible that the two sides will come to an agreement before going to arbitration.

    This is Casillaís second year of arbitration. Last year, he signed before a hearing and played the 2011 season making $865,000. 2011 was a strange season for Casilla. He began the season as the Twins starting shortstop. In April, he hit .167/.227/.200 in 22 games. Trevor
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    by 02-10-2012, 09:06 AM

    Last nightís 90-minute SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast was a lot of fun! We talked to Kyle Waldrop about what it was like to finally getting his first big league opportunity after spending eight seasons in the Twins system. He discussed what he did in the offseason to improve and what heís looking to show in spring training.

    Then Alex Margulies joined us to talk about how big league spring training affects the Ft. Myers Miracle front office. We also discussed how the Miracle has been ahead of the game in terms of technology. We
    by 02-03-2012, 11:23 AM

    The Twins have about 30 pitchers coming to spring training this year. Some Twins fans are upset that the Twins haven't signed the likes of Dan Wheeler or Brad Lidge when they signed for low-price deals. There are still some bullpen arms available (Coffey, Wuertz ,etc.), but the question is Would you rather sign one of those guys, or give opportunities to the guys they already have? Is it possible that the Twins scouting department has determined that Todd Coffey will not be able to get hitters out as well as Alex Burnett or Lester Oliveros, Jeff Manship or Jason Bulger? if that's the case, then there is no reason to bring additional pitchers in. What say you?
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    by 02-02-2012, 08:26 AM

    Todayís mystery category? Letís see if you can guess from the cluesÖ

    "What are the Twins television revenues?"
    "Why is everybody bitching about a $100 million payroll?"
    "Why couldn't the Twins sign Prince Fielder?"

    If you didnít get it, donít be too hard on yourself - itís a little convoluted. The category is ďWhat questions avoid THE question?Ē

    In Twins Territory, THE question has been: why did payroll go down $15 million following the second year of a publicly funded stadium?
    by 01-27-2012, 10:18 AM

    I've generally been pleased with the moves the Twins have made this offseason. In his return to the helm, Terry Ryan has wisely allowed some overpriced free agents to depart while signing solid producers like Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit to bargain deals with little downside.

    Two moves that have rubbed me the wrong way, however, are the Kevin Slowey trade and the Matt Capps signing. This isn't because I take issue with the decisions that were made Ė trading Slowey was certainly justifiable and Capps filled a need as a hard-throwing late-inning righty Ė but rather the timing.
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    by 01-26-2012, 11:28 AM

    I saw several tweets yesterday bemoaning the fact that the Twins didn't get Jeff Francis considering he signed a minor league deal with the Reds. I've certainly cast a skeptical eye towards the Twins aggressive stance early in this offseason, especially in the bullpen. But the Francis signing, IMHO, points out the risk/reward of waiting out the musical chairs game that is the free agent market:

    Reward - when the music stops, there can be an awful lot of players anxious to take a seat in your remaining chair
    Risk - all of those players might kinda suck.
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    by 01-25-2012, 09:01 PM

    Hyperbole is fun.

    It is. Itís also easy. Plus, it sounds so darn authoritative. No wonder itís so often our go to form of entertainment.

    Our latest example (for baseball, because this is a baseball blog) was the deal the Tigers just signed with Prince Fielder. The Tigers suddenly became favorites to win the World Series. Which is interesting, because about a week earlier, even their candidacy for the AL Central crown was in doubt when their second best hitter, Victor Martinez, was going to miss the year after a knee injury.

    Is the hyperbole correct? Is Fielder such an upgrade over Martinez that the Tigers, who won 95 games last year (but only had the run differential of an 89-win team), are a lock for the AL Central?
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    by 01-23-2012, 10:34 AM

    The Twins have often been criticized in recent years for the paltry returns they've gotten back when trading away players. We've seen Wilson Ramos, J.J. Hardy, Delmon Young and others flipped for questionable returns, only to quickly boost their value elsewhere. Jose Mijares was non-tendered earlier this offseason because the Twins didn't want to pay him $750,000 through arbitration, and he went on to immediately sign with the Royals for $950,000.

    In my mind, the Twins front office has shown a persistent weakness in assessing the value of its own talent.
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    by 01-20-2012, 08:36 AM

    It ain't fancy. It is fun.

    If you're looking to get together for a lot of irreverent and fun Twins talk, I'd invite you to attend the 4th Annual LAST Hot Stove League Banquet and Charity Auction next Friday night. It's not the fourth annual - it's the fourth annual LAST, because this has been going on for decades now and they keep trying to stop doing it. The image contains all the info (click to enlarge).

    You'll see both The Voice of Reason and I there and we'll probably be taking the party someplace else immediately afterwards. I hope you can make it.

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    by 01-18-2012, 10:33 PM

    So far, the Twins have invested $99M in their 2012 team.

    Whether you think they'll be competitive or not isn't the point. (I do.) Whether you think they should have cut payroll or not isnít the point. (I don't.) The point is this: the Twins have invested $99M in their 2012 team.

    Now they need to spend a tiny fraction of that to insure it.
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    by 01-18-2012, 10:09 AM

    About a month from today, Jamey Carroll will turn 38 years old. That will make the veteran infielder, signed by the Twins earlier this offseason to man shortstop over the next couple seasons, the same age as former Minnesota third baseman Corey Koskie.

    Of course, while Carroll is enjoying the best years of his pro baseball career, Koskie has been out of the game since 2006, when a concussion sustained in Milwaukee ended his days as a major-leaguer.

    An athletic baseball player with a tremendous passion for the game, cut down in his prime by an injury that seemed totally harmless at the time, even to him. I brought up the unfortunate parallel between Koskie and Justin Morneau after the latter had been sidelined for a month by a concussion suffered in 2010, and unfortunately, little has happened since then to dispel such allusions.

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    by 01-14-2012, 08:47 AM

    Does Revere's Defense Make Up For Delmon's Offense?
    Last week in a thought exercise, I wondered if who we could expect more out of this year Ė Delmon Young or Ben Revere. One offensive, one defensive. One defensively laughable, one offensively infuriating. So letís look, sabrmetrically, at what each should be worth offensively and defensively next year.

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