• Short Memory: Twins Sign Jason Bartlett

    Per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Minnesota Twins have signed Jason Bartlett to a minor-league contract, and the veteran shortstop will compete for a job in spring training next year.

    Bartlett, of course, first reached the majors as a member of the Twins organization in 2004. He was acquired from the Padres as a minor-leaguer in 2002 in exchange for outfielder Brian Buchanan. In parts of four seasons as a Twin, Bartlett hit .272/.341/.362 over 1,208 plate appearances. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 2007 as part of the Delmon Young deal, went on to have a career year in 2009, and later landed in San Diego, where he was eventually derailed by injury.

    Bartlett hit .245/.308/.307 over 139 games in 2011, his first year with the Padres, in 2012 he was limited to 29 games by a knee injury, batting just .133. He didn't play at all in 2013 while focusing on healing. He's now 34 and basically hasn't played in two years, making him an extreme long shot, but there's nothing wrong with adding some depth to the shortstop position. Pedro Florimon, who started 127 games there this season while posting a miserable .611 OPS, had stood as the only contender.

    The hope is that Bartlett's time away from the game has strengthened his balky knee, enabling him to come back and show something in camp. At worst, he'll simply provide a touch of nostalgia for Twins fans who remember his tremendous contribitions in 2006 after replacing Juan Castro, when he helped push the club to an historic second-half comeback in the AL Central.

    What are your thoughts on the return of Jason Bartlett?
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. jctwins's Avatar
      jctwins -
      This is the kind of serious move I think we all have been waiting for.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      jctwins, if the like button was still showing up for me, I'd like that.....
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...Jason-Bartlett
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      They still might sign someone else (even though the SS market is after the the top two). This is a minor league deal, if it works…genius. If not, no big deal. My question is, what was Jason doing last year? AAA, independent, Japan, rehab, smelling the roses?
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      They still might sign someone else (even though the SS market is after the the top two). This is a minor league deal, if it works…genius. If not, no big deal. My question is, what was Jason doing last year? AAA, independent, Japan, rehab, smelling the roses?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Nice, fun signing. His wife is from Rochester. I want to say that he lives there in the offseason as he's done a lot for the Red Wings in the offseasons the last several years, even since he left the organization.

      I am certain he's being promised nothing. He basically hasn't played for two years. The Twins have some options for Rochester infield, like Beresford, Santana, etc., but if he makes the AAA roster, would be a nice story, and if he doesn't, oh well. And, if he makes the Twins roster at some point in 2014, that would be a great story!
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I'm pretty ok with this, it at least has some upside.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Though this is--just that--a minor deal. I think this should subdue the notion that Gardy was ill-disposed with Bartlett.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I hope this is a sign that the Twins will bring back Matt Garza (and Eduardo Morlan)

      I see this as a potential AAA depth signing, and somewhat redundant to the re-signing of Doug Bernier. If Bartlett plays for the Twins in 2014, unless he is back to his crazy Rays season form, it would mean that 2014 was a waste too...
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      He's maybe a replacement for Ray Olmedo.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      He was last good in 2009. He won't want to end up in Rochester so there is nothing to do this. Can't be, right?

      But . . . on a typical Shane note, if he DOES want to stay in Rochester . . . James Beresford, Danny Santana, and Eddie Rosario will have to make room, or something, for a washed up player. Typical.
    1. spideyo's Avatar
      spideyo -
      Any idea if his contract will have one of those clauses where if he isn't added to the major league roster by X date he can ask to be released?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'm surprised Bartlett could only find a minor league deal. Smart on his part since if he finds any sort of shred of his former self, he's going to unseat Florimon pretty easily. Bartlett was a plus defender whose bat had some upside.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      They probably make similar minor league free agent signings every winter. He isn't going to hold Rosario and Santana.

      Rosario's defense may hold him back. They may decide he doesn't have the skill to play second defensively and move him to LF. If that happens, Bartlett's signing will not be the reason.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Though this is--just that--a minor deal. I think this should subdue the notion that Gardy was ill-disposed with Bartlett.
      I'm not sure how a minor league deal almost a decade later fixes the fact that Gardy chose Castro over him. I'm not sure anything fixes that stupidity.
    1. Dman's Avatar
      Dman -
      Unless Dozier regresses or gets hurt I don't see Rozario at 2nd base anymore. I think he ends up back in the outfield after things shake out. I know Beresford doesn't hit the long ball but I like his defense better at second and I think he will be a good hitter as well. Santana I don;t know what to think. I really think Bartlet is a long shot but why not give him a shot? If he hangs out in Rochester anyway and has some baseball left in him maybe he makes our team or maybe if does well in AAA we can trade him who knows.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      I don't have a problem with the signing.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I'm not sure how a minor league deal almost a decade later fixes the fact that Gardy chose Castro over him. I'm not sure anything fixes that stupidity.
      I distinctly remember Gardy having mixed emotions over Bartlett being included in that trade. There is no stupidity to fix.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      It would be a mistake to move Rosario if he can field the position.

      It is unlikely that Dozier's HR/OFB rate of 14.4% is sustainable. It is more than double his rate as a minor leaguer. The difference is 10 home runs.

      It would be wise to see if Dozier's power is really a new skill before moving Rosario.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I distinctly remember Gardy having mixed emotions over Bartlett being included in that trade. There is no stupidity to fix.
      Agree. A team looks for long-term stability at short and Bartlett was becoming that guy. One of Smith's biggest mistakes.

      If he's healthy I have no problem with Bartlett coming back as a utility guy, late inning SS/3B type.
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