• Ron Gardenhire talks September roster

    On Monday night, Fox Sport North broadcasted the New Britain Rock Cats game, giving Twins fans in the Midwest another glimpse of one of the games top-ranked prospects in Miguel Sano. Sano, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts lowering his average to .238, made a nifty play on a slow chopper to nail the runner at first to end a threat early in the game.

    Much has been made about bringing the 20-year-old Sano up to Minnesota this September but the Twins have been steadfast in their development process and not wanting to rush anyone before their time. On Tuesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was on MLB Network Radio radio recently and discussed what his roster could look like come September and it likely does not include Sano.

    Im guessing that probably not, Gardenhire said when asked if Sano would see action in September. I would think that [Terry Ryan] has not totally said no to Sano but I think hes leaning really heavily not doing that move and letting him go home. Hes played a lot of baseball this summer and having him fresh in spring training and see where that takes us.

    Gardenhire continued to say that nothing was out of the question but Ryan will be spending the next four or five days in Rochester trying to make the final decision on which players will be on the roster come September.

    The manager also addressed another question regarding the status of veteran first baseman Justin Morneau, who had cleared waivers last week and is free to be traded to any team.

    Im sure Terry and them have had phone calls and listen, Gardenhire said, but everything Ive heard is that there is money involved and all that and other teams are not wanting to touch money and stuff like that.

    Morneau, 32, is owed approximately $3.5 million for the remainder of the season and other teams are not necessarily interested in obtaining that contract in exchange for a player hitting .261/.316/.418 in 503 plate appearances this year.

    We would do it for Mornie if the opportunity came, said Gardenhire. Im sure Terry would look at it and think about it really seriously, but were also trying to help our ballclub. Were looking for some kind of prospect or something like that that can help our ballclub next year.

    The Twins have not given their fans much reason to watch the club at the seasons conclusion. Dating back to 2011 the Twins have won just 44 of 132 games after July 31 - so any form of excitement to the late season roster would be welcomed.
    Comments 156 Comments
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      As has been pointed out, he cleared waivers so the entire premise of your counter argument is false.

      If Gardy had said the reverse and people were reading into this about money...the same people defending this would have a conniption. As I said earlier....it's unsettling that a major figure in the organization thinks money is the reason he wasn't dealt. Doesn't prove anything, but it's unsettling.
      And I still assert it is about lack of value/return. There really is nothing said here that can prove it either way.

      But by all means remain unsettled.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      And I still assert it is about lack of value/return. There really is nothing said here that can prove it either way.

      But by all means remain unsettled.
      Im unsettled by what was actually said, what you are doing is pretending the quote means something unsaid. You'd be upset if someone did the reverse. And you'd be right to be upset. Gardy said money, anything else is an interpretation.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I can understand (barely) the quibble about how it might not ALL be about eating Morenau's money, but what about the player compensation justification? Gardy said they want a young ballplayer who can help them next year.

      Unless they actually think they can get near MLB ready top prospect from AA or AAA that means they are likely willing to accept more AAAA filler like Hernandez and Escobar. Why?

      Regardless if they are hung up on money or prospects, unless on the unlikely chance they get an actual top prospect from the upper minor leagues, they are going about this whole situation the wrong way.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      No wonder they can't make a trade, if they are worried about a prospect helping them next year......
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Im unsettled by what was actually said, what you are doing is pretending the quote means something unsaid. You'd be upset if someone did the reverse. And you'd be right to be upset. Gardy said money, anything else is an interpretation.
      As a general rule I don't become unsettled by Gardy's vague ramblings about things he doesn't control. It is still a return issue first and foremost.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I can understand (barely) the quibble about how it might not ALL be about eating Morenau's money, but what about the player compensation justification? Gardy said they want a young ballplayer who can help them next year.

      Unless they actually think they can get near MLB ready top prospect from AA or AAA that means they are likely willing to accept more AAAA filler like Hernandez and Escobar. Why?

      Regardless if they are hung up on money or prospects, unless on the unlikely chance they get an actual top prospect from the upper minor leagues, they are going about this whole situation the wrong way.
      This I can agree with. There might be a significant difference of opinion on what a "fair" return would be.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I do not see the difference. Morneau is saying the correct things, but I wonder if the bridges have already been burnt when the Twins refused to meet on an extension. Morneau may decide to play for less money on a team that is a contender and the Twins will have nothing in return for him. I know if I was treated that way, I would certainly consider it.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      As a general rule I don't become unsettled by Gardy's vague ramblings about things he doesn't control. It is still a return issue first and foremost.
      With that...I have no problems. Gardy certainly seems like he's clueless about the workings of the FO most of the time.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Morneau wasn't claimed on waivers because no one (NO ONE) wanted to take on $3.5M for 1+ month for a player who is, at best, a marginal upgrade from what their team was using at first base. History says the Twins will not eat salary to make a trade, so IMHO the issue is money. I have been of the opinion that the Twins should trade Morneau for a 40-man roster spot and the trade partner taking on his salary. I don't know if any team has offered even that much.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      Morneau wasn't claimed on waivers because no one (NO ONE) wanted to take on $3.5M for 1+ month for a player who is, at best, a marginal upgrade from what their team was using at first base. History says the Twins will not eat salary to make a trade, so IMHO the issue is money. I have been of the opinion that the Twins should trade Morneau for a 40-man roster spot and the trade partner taking on his salary. I don't know if any team has offered even that much.
      I think "marginal upgrade" is the bigger problem. The Twins, rightly or wrongly, want a legitimate return for Morneau and teams aren't going to give that up for six weeks of a marginal upgrade regardless of money.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      What contending team other than the Yankees or Pittsburg would Morneau be an upgrade on? Any other team he would be a pinch hitter. If you were going to give up a prospect for a rental the teans could lowball the Twins because Morales with similar numbers would also be available.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by RodneyKline View Post
      Sano is not ready yet. He can't hit .250 at AA but he is ready for the majors? I don't think so. Hicks hit .280 at AA last season. Prediction: Byron Buxton is the next Rookie of the Year for the Twins.
      There's a tale of two Sano's here with the first few weeks in the league being starkly worse than the last couple. I think that average will be climbing up as the season progresses, though I don't think he's "ready" by any means. I agree that he'd instantly be one of the better hitters on this team, but that doesn't make him ready. He still has things to learn. I'm guessing if he continues to progress, he opens up 2014 in Rochester for a month or two before being called up here after destroying the league. Wouldn't be surprised at all if Buxton was on a similar path starting in NB and making it up to Rochester in fairly short order.
    1. Beemo's Avatar
      Beemo -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      I do not see the difference. Morneau is saying the correct things, but I wonder if the bridges have already been burnt when the Twins refused to meet on an extension. Morneau may decide to play for less money on a team that is a contender and the Twins will have nothing in return for him. I know if I was treated that way, I would certainly consider it.
      I get why Morneau wanted an extension but I don't know why he'd expect the Twins to actually consider it. Sure, he would've gladly accepted $11+ million the Twins would've had to pay him for next season and even another $9+ million for 2015 but he shouldn't be upset that the Twins didn't even want to talk about it.
    1. golfboy1's Avatar
      golfboy1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      Morneau wasn't claimed on waivers because no one (NO ONE) wanted to take on $3.5M for 1+ month for a player who is, at best, a marginal upgrade from what their team was using at first base. History says the Twins will not eat salary to make a trade, so IMHO the issue is money. I have been of the opinion that the Twins should trade Morneau for a 40-man roster spot and the trade partner taking on his salary. I don't know if any team has offered even that much.
      I think your view is correct. Morneau is...at best, a marginal upgrade for a few teams & since nobody wanted to take the chance they would get stuck with him he cleared waivers.

      Chicago had to send money to Texas to take Alex Rios & they received a marginal prospect in return. I think most contenders would rather have Rios over Morneau. The market for Morneau is probably very small.

      I believe the Twins would rather keep Morneau than pay money to receive a marginal prospect back. I don't entirely disagree with that approach. He's been a Twins favorite for a long time & just dumping him for a nobody isn't the right thing to do(IMHO).

      Some posters seem to think the Twins are being cheap by taking this approach but I don't think that is true. If they don't trade him they STILL have to pay him his salary so how is that being cheap? If it was just about money they could probably pay 70/80% of his salary & someone would take him.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPilgrim View Post
      I think my question (and it is meant as an honest question) is how much value is there actually in a September callup. Yes, players are getting major league experience, but I wonder if it is not a somewhat diluted experience nonetheless. .
      A September call up means that a player can double his income. A month of an MLB paycheck is about a season's worth of a AAA paycheck and more for a AA. And this can mean a lot to the players. So it is a form of a reward...
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      I do not see the difference. Morneau is saying the correct things, but I wonder if the bridges have already been burnt when the Twins refused to meet on an extension. Morneau may decide to play for less money on a team that is a contender and the Twins will have nothing in return for him. I know if I was treated that way, I would certainly consider it.
      Keep in mind that if the Twins extended him prior to him hitting FA, they could at most give him a 20% paycut. That means they'd be paying him about 11M/year. If those bridges are burned, bit's b/c Morneau has no idea what he's actually worth.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      Keep in mind that if the Twins extended him prior to him hitting FA, they could at most give him a 20% paycut. That means they'd be paying him about 11M/year. If those bridges are burned, bit's b/c Morneau has no idea what he's actually worth.
      I might be wrong, but I thought the 20% rule was for pre ARB players, i.e. renewable contract guys.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      While it may be true that Morneau is a marginal improvement over some current first baseman for teams looking at the playoffs, A: that's what teams are often looking for as they head into the playoffs, and B: perhaps Morneau is more than a marginal improvement over the last two guys on the bench for one or more of these teams (maybe true of all of them?). Someone would take him and the some 50%+ of the salary for either a decent prospect at the lower levels or a lower prospect at the higher levels.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      A September call up means that a player can double his income. A month of an MLB paycheck is about a season's worth of a AAA paycheck and more for a AA. And this can mean a lot to the players. So it is a form of a reward...
      Good point. I hadn't thought of it from that angle.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      While it may be true that Morneau is a marginal improvement over some current first baseman for teams looking at the playoffs, A: that's what teams are often looking for as they head into the playoffs, and B: perhaps Morneau is more than a marginal improvement over the last two guys on the bench for one or more of these teams (maybe true of all of them?). Someone would take him and the some 50%+ of the salary for either a decent prospect at the lower levels or a lower prospect at the higher levels.
      You state that like it's obvious, but I suppose it depends on your definition of "decent". Other teams would surely take Morneau, I just highly doubt a team would give up anything of significance no matter how much money the Twins pick up.

      An argument can be made to move him to clear space but there needs to be a little more than whining about the Twins being cheap to convince they are leaving a prospect on the table.
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