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  • The Case for Stephen Drew

    It is now 2014 and Stephen Drew is still a free agent. There has been speculation regarding the Twins making a run at Drew. Some are in favor of a possible signing, while some are against it. This is a common theme when speculating on transactions. Everyone is going to have his opinion.

    Here is my case for signing Stephen Drew.

    More information on the stats used below can be found in the Glossary section of Fangraphs.com.

    Offensive Upside

    Stephen Drew was a good offensive player in 2013, putting up a wRC+(weighted runs created, normalized for park and league effects) of 109. That's before considering that he is a shortstop. In 2013 the league average wRC+ for shortstops was 85. To put that into perspective, his offensive production was similar to Dustin Pedroia (115 wRC+) compared to the league average second baseman (91 wRC+) and Allen Craig (135 wRC+) compared to the league average first baseman (110 wRC+).

    While that gives you an idea of how good his offense was for a shortstop, it would be more helpful to compare him to the player he'd be replacing. Pedro Florimon had a 68 wRC+ in 2013. So Drew was essentially 41% better at creating runs than Florimon. To give you an idea of how much better 41% is, I used two other full time Twins players to help illustrate how big of an upgrade Drew would have been over Florimon.

    Florimon wRC+: 68
    Drew wRC+: 109

    Dozier wRC+: 101
    Cano wRC+: 142

    Plouffe wRC+: 93
    Longoria wRC+: 133

    If you are skeptical that this was a career year for Drew, and thus an outlier, this was the fourth season that Drew put up a 109 wRC+ or higher.

    Steady Defense

    While Florimon is one of the better defensive shortstops in the league, Drew is a good defensive shortstop in his own right. Here is how Drew's defense has rated over the last five years using UZR/150 (ultimate zone rating, over 150 games) and DRS (defensive runs saved).

    UZR/150: 4.0
    DRS: 3

    Using 4000 innings as the threshold, a total of only 10 shortstops rated above zero in both defensive metrics during that time frame.

    Overall Player

    Using the same five year time frame, here are Drew's overall numbers.

    wRC+: 98
    UZR/150: 4.0
    DRS: 3

    During that span, only three other shortstops met or exceeded these standards: Tulowitzki, (Yunel) Escobar, and Peralta. In 2013, once again, only three shortstops met these standards. Tulowitzki, (Yunel) Escobar and Hardy.

    Health Concerns

    Health should be a concern with every player, but it seems to be overblown with Drew. He has been tagged with words like injury-prone and fragile, which doesn't seem to be fair.

    When you take out his flukey 2011 ankle injury (broken bone and torn ligaments from a slide in to home), Drew averaged 142 games played in his other five full seasons in the majors. In those five seasons he has been on the DL three times for a total of 54 days. Those three DL stints were caused by two hamstring strains and a concussion suffered from being hit in the head by a pitch. So other than a couple of freak injuries, he's been quite durable.

    2015 Class

    There has been talk about shortstops who may be available through free agency next offseason. So I wanted to compare them to Drew noting their ages when hitting free agency, along with their offense and defense over the past five seasons. I didn't include Ramirez and Jeter because they aren't realistic options due to many factors.

    Age wRC+ UZR/150 DRS
    Drew 31 98 4.0 3
    Cabrera 29 107 -10.8 -19
    Lowrie 31 108 -4.4 -28
    Hardy 32/33 92 9.3 31
    Rollins 36 92 4.6 -29

    All things considered, Drew looks to be the most attractive player.

    The Conclusion

    Other than giving up a second round draft pick, all things point to Drew being a great signing. He is a good player who would provide a significant upgrade at a position at which the Twins lack options. He would also provide balance to an infield (Dozier, Plouffe) that struggles against right-handed pitching.

    There seems to be a thin market for Drew with the Red Sox and Mets being the two teams most often mentioned. There have been reports that teams are not willing to go past two years, so this would be a good time for the Twins to jump in and offer Drew three years, $30-33 million.

    It would be nice to have another proven position player alongside Mauer to help with the infusion of youth coming up in the next couple years. Especially a shortstop.
    This article was originally published in blog: The Case for Stephen Drew started by JP3700
    Comments 234 Comments
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      1 Your giving up a top 45 draft pick in a pitcher heavy draft
      2 Drew had an ok year in hitter friendly Fennway....
      3 A Diaz has proven himself on the international stage
      4 I would rather have a young kid growup with the team,
      and be here for 5 or more years then to sign a declining veteran....
      5 If we were a .250 hitter away from making a playoff run ,then maybe I think about wasting the money(30+ million)
      but the Twins are hoping for 70-80 win season , so it makes no sense to sign Drew.....
      1. I don't think that's all that valuable, is it nice? yes, but we could use talent on the MLB roster that we dont' have. I probably value draft picks less than you do.
      2. Drew hit well for SS and the numbers were right in with his career averages even if you include his awful 2011 and 2012.
      3. Diaz would be awesome, I don't see him coming here though, but heck I hope they try.
      4. Again, I agree, just don't know if he'll come here
      5. Drew would be here for three years, I sure as hell hope the Twins are planning to be better than a 75-80 win team sometime in the next three years. He's older yes, but it's not lie he's 35 ready to break down completely. He's young enough to have 3-5 more solid years and could very well be a nice piece, plus who cares, not our money and shouldn't affect future spending that much. Again that's just an opinion. I think Drew makes a lot of sense due to who else are we gonna spend the money on and he would upgrade a significant part of our lineup.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Brock, I think you are the only one that says the Twins have zero shortstop prospects in the high minors and you are probably correct but some of the guys in the lower minors may turn out to be half way decent - Santana, Polanco, Goodrum just to name three, give them a chance without dismissing them just yet.
      Santana is in the high minors (AAA) and on the 40-man roster, but he is not much of a prospect. I think Escobar is next in line for the SS position.
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Brock, I think you are the only one that says the Twins have zero shortstop prospects in the high minors and you are probably correct but some of the guys in the lower minors may turn out to be half way decent - Santana, Polanco, Goodrum just to name three, give them a chance without dismissing them just yet.
      Santana is the only one close to the majors and his career minor league numbers are worse than Drews career major league numbers. He might pan out but I wouldn't hold my breath. Polanco and Goodrum have a better shot IMO but they're both 2-3 years away at best making Drew a perfect bridge to them if they do.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by halfchest View Post
      Santana is the only one close to the majors and his career minor league numbers are worse than Drews career major league numbers. He might pan out but I wouldn't hold my breath. Polanco and Goodrum have a better shot IMO but they're both 2-3 years away at best making Drew a perfect bridge to them if they do.
      To pile on: I've said this elsewhere but I think it bears repeating...holding open spots on your major league roster for players in the low minors is a terrible way to run an organization. Polanco and Goodrum have no place in this discussion, IMO.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      To pile on: I've said this elsewhere but I think it bears repeating...holding open spots on your major league roster for players in the low minors is a terrible way to run an organization. Polanco and Goodrum have no place in this discussion, IMO.
      Concur, and this is part of the overall argument to sign Drew, he serves as a good bridge to when or if Polanco or Goodrum do become part of the discussion.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Brock, I think you are the only one that says the Twins have zero shortstop prospects in the high minors and you are probably correct but some of the guys in the lower minors may turn out to be half way decent - Santana, Polanco, Goodrum just to name three, give them a chance without dismissing them just yet.
      I'm not dismissing them at all. Well, maybe Santana. He just hasn't shown much with the stick... Or anything with the stick, when you get right down to it.

      Polanco and Goodrum haven't played above Cedar Rapids. They're non-issues at this point. They may turn into fantastic prospects. They may bust. Neither will hit the majors before 2016 at the earliest.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      b. Define "reliability" please. Florimon is a tad more reliable than Butera with the stick and he was 4th in errors committed in the majors (and second in the AL) at SS last season.
      Fair enough. I'm defining reliability here as "this is our shortstop, day in, day out, for the foreseeable future." No platoons, no mid-season tryouts for other guys.

      Guzman and Bartlett come to mind. As long as Florimon remains near the top of the league in the field (by whatever measure; last years early errors notwithstanding) then I'd like to see the organization show Florimon a vote of confidence and name him the every day shortstop for 2014. I wouldn't consider that a scholarship in this case.

      A lot of us see Drew's age and recent injury history as a big red flag when discussion long term contracts. Not saying Florimon can't get hurt. Drew is much more likely to miss time to injury I'd think, then we're back to Florimon anyway.

      Since I've been emphasizing middle infield stability, I decided to look up some recent SS/2B combos. I made this chart for JP3700 not to prove a specific point but just to get an idea of the Twins recent middle infield situation. I think a stable middle infield is valuable in intangible ways. Dozier and Florimon are proving to be above average and I'd really like to see the Twins continue to address other needs first.

      Team leaders, Games started, SS/2B, by year:



      Twins
      AL Champ
      2000
      Guzman/Canizaro148/85
      Jeter/Knoblauch148/82
      2001
      Guzman/Rivas115/148
      Jeter/Soriano150/156
      2002
      Guzman/Rivas143/91
      Eckstein/Kennedy146/123
      2003
      Guzman/Rivas137/131
      Jeter/Soriano118/154
      2004
      Guzman/Rivas143/95
      Bellhorn/O.Cabrera118/57
      2005
      Castro/Punto66/63
      Uribe/Iguchi143/129
      2006
      Bartlett/Castillo99/142
      Guillen/Polanco144/107
      2007
      Bartlett/Castillo135/85
      Lugo/Pedroia139/132
      2008
      Punto/Casilla60/94
      Bartlett/Iwamura122/151
      2009
      O.Cabrera/Casilla57/64
      Jeter/Cano147/158
      2010
      Hardy/Hudson95/123
      Andrus/Kinsler144/102
      2011
      Nishioka/Casilla59/53
      Andrus/Kinsler142/144
      2012
      Dozier/Casilla81/83
      Peralta/Infante145/59
      2013
      Florimon/Dozier127/141
      Drew/Pedroia122/159

    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Concur, and this is part of the overall argument to sign Drew, he serves as a good bridge to when or if Polanco or Goodrum do become part of the discussion.
      But all things considered, just as good a bridge as Florimon would.

      I think that is the crux of our argument. I think some of us have seen too many Tolberts and Nishiokas pass through in recent memory and are ready for a decent fielding, stable middle infield, which we might very well have in Florimon and Dozier.

      Not that I'm hard opposed to Drew, but I'd rather see the Twins slot Florimon ninth and worry about getting Arcia and Hicks straightened out, than to suddenly just turn to free agency for every need.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      If we're concerned with cost benefit analysis, Mauer costs about 46 times what it would take to just let Parmelee play first.

      However, I don't think "cost benefit" is the best method to use when building a baseball team. I prefer the "better baseball player" method.
      Everyone does a cost benefit analysis throughout their daily lives, often without even realizing it. Cost benefit analysis' and opportunity costs are a part of life. Especially professional baseball life.

      In terms of "best baseball player" method. I like that method too. However, when it comes to Drew and Florimon, Drew is not better at everything than Florimon. Florimon is better defensively and is arguably more durable. Drew gets on base more than Florimon and he has consistently done that throughout his career. I see the value in signing Drew for that reason. However, he has trouble hitting lefties. Do you think Gardy would platoon Drew with Escobar or someone else and make sure it's done consistently/properly?

      I know there are a lot of Twins fans that feel signing Drew is a no brainer, but if Drew was such a great deal, he would have been signed by a team by now. Lets put it this way, I'm not against signing Drew, but the lower his price tag is, the more I like the signing. I'm just having a hard time justifying spending over $10million more on Drew than Florimon when Florimon has already proven he's one of the best defenders in the league and hasn't even been given a chance to improve his hitting #'s from last year. Guys like Parmelee and Plouffe have gotten to come back "the next year" and have failed, yet they are still around. Florimon has earned a chance to improve his numbers in 2014. His defense is so good that I think it's worth giving him more time to work on his hitting.

      Tell me, other than getting on base, what does Drew do bring to the table that makes him a must have @ 20-26X the price of Florimon + a 2nd round draft pick? He only hit 13HR's last year, so he doesn't bring much power to the table. His career high is 67RBI's so he's not driving in 100+ runs like some players. Speed? Nope, he only had 6 stolen bases to Florimon's 15. Drew also had a career high # of strike outs @ 124. Drew's performance in the playoffs has declined since 2007.

      I see the value in Drew's OBP, but that's about where it ends. Florimon is younger, faster, more durable, better defensively, and MUCH cheaper. Not to mention Florimon has only played one full season in the MLB and hasn't even been given a chance to improve his hitting.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
      Tell me, other than getting on base, what does Drew do bring to the table that makes him a must have @ 20-26X the price of Florimon + a 2nd round draft pick? He only hit 13HR's last year, so he doesn't bring much power to the table. His career high is 67RBI's so he's not driving in 100+ runs like some players. Speed? Nope, he only had 6 stolen bases to Florimon's 15. Drew also had a career high # of strike outs @ 124. Drew's performance in the playoffs has declined since 2007.

      I see the value in Drew's OBP, but that's about where it ends. Florimon is younger, faster, more durable, better defensively, and MUCH cheaper. Not to mention Florimon has only played one full season in the MLB and hasn't even been given a chance to improve his hitting.
      You're looking at the wrong numbers. Drew does everything better with the bat.

      He hits for higher average. .264 to .219.

      He walks more. .329 to .278.

      He hits for more power. .435 to .323.

      RBI, like always, are irrelevant. They are a corrollary stat that depends on BA, SLG, and team participation to get on base. Homeruns are largely park-dependent and don't tell if a player has gap power. They're particularly useless when examined devoid of other stats.

      Stephen Drew has a 98 OPS+. Pedro Florimon has a 67 OPS+. That's all you need to know about them as hitters.

      What really matters is that Stephen Drew, by every measurable statistic we have, is a significantly better overall baseball player than Pedro Florimon. You may argue that he's not better enough. I don't agree (and the statistics show that he's worth between 1-3 more wins than Florimon) but the two shouldn't even be in the same conversation. Admitting that Florimon is good enough is one thing... but suggesting that he's even remotely comparable to Stephen Drew is absurd. One is a quality MLB player and has been for quite some time. The other is a 27 year old journeyman whose numbers project as a spot starter at best, a waiver wire pickup at worst.

      And you continue to suggest that Florimon will improve with the bat. Why do you believe this? He is 27 years old and hasn't OPSed over .750 in a full season since rookie ball in 2006. While it's nice to wish for player improvement, it's certainly no way to run a baseball team and Pedro Florimon has not given any indication that he will ever hit baseballs at an acceptable clip in MLB. His entire track records suggests that this is who he is as a player.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Particularly when that additional cost comes in at $5-6m per win, which is the typical going rate for free agents.

      The problem with Reider's cost benefit analysis is that Florimon has little room to improve. That's not opinion, that's just sound analysis of players of his type, history, and age. He's probably close to as good as he'll ever get. Hell, there's just as good a chance that he will regress in 2014 as there is that he will improve.
      Florimon is already arguably a top 5 SS and has the tools to be the #2 SS defensively next year. The Twins aren't in "win now" mode as most of their great prospects (Hicks, Buxton, Sano, Meyer etc..) are still developing in the minors. So what's the big deal with giving Florimon another year to work on his hitting, while he does his thing defensively? I'd be more in favor of signing Drew if the situation was different.

      The reason few want to pick up a centerfielder or a third baseman is because the Twins have legitimate "cost benefit" players in the organization at those positions. As soon as 2014, Miguel Sano could be a 3+ win player at the league minimum. Aaron Hicks is just as, if not more, likely to post a 2+ win season than Florimon for the league minimum. But in 2015 and beyond, Hicks has a ceiling of 3+ wins annually while Buxton has a ceiling of... well, the moon. It makes no sense to pick up players at those positions, and that's not even mentioning that no free agent in their right mind is going to want to sign with the Twins, knowing that Hicks/Buxton/Sano are champing at the bit to take away their position at a moment's notice. You could make the argument that Pinto is another cost benefit player, as he posted some impressive MiLB numbers and had a strong September (though I personally put no stock in that).
      Yep, guys like Buxton, Hicks, Sano and Meyer could be very very solid players in the future. In fact, Arcia and Pinto could be as well. The Twins future has the potential to look very bright.

      That leaves one position on the diamond where the Twins have no players in the minors and a bad player on the MLB roster that is unlikely to improve in a meaningful way. That position is shortstop.

      This isn't about "winning now", though that could be a nice side effect. This is about replacing bad MLB players who have little or no chance of meaningful improvement at the position. Sure, Florimon might clean up a few of his defensive errors... But he's still going to be an awful hitter, which means he will always be a pretty bad baseball player. He would have to be Ozzie Smith defensively to compensate for his lack of a bat (though it should be noted that even Smith was a better hitter than Florimon by a pretty healthy margin).
      How do we know if Florimon is going to improve or not if we don't give him an opportunity? An opportunity when the Twins are in the basement is a lot easier than when all the young guys are up and they are competing for a Championship. Drew is not our future. At best he would be our "right now." I don't think there's anything wrong with giving Florimon more time to work on his hitting, while the Twins continue looking for their future @ SS.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
      How do we know if Florimon is going to improve or not if we don't give him an opportunity?
      3506 plate appearances of sub-par hitting, for starters.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
      Fair enough. I'm defining reliability here as "this is our shortstop, day in, day out, for the foreseeable future." No platoons, no mid-season tryouts for other guys.

      Since I've been emphasizing middle infield stability, I decided to look up some recent SS/2B combos. I made this chart for JP3700 not to prove a specific point but just to get an idea of the Twins recent middle infield situation. I think a stable middle infield is valuable in intangible ways. Dozier and Florimon are proving to be above average and I'd really like to see the Twins continue to address other needs first.

      Team leaders, Games started, SS/2B, by year:



      Twins
      AL Champ
      2000
      Guzman/Canizaro148/85
      Jeter/Knoblauch148/82
      2001
      Guzman/Rivas115/148
      Jeter/Soriano150/156
      2002
      Guzman/Rivas143/91
      Eckstein/Kennedy146/123
      2003
      Guzman/Rivas137/131
      Jeter/Soriano118/154
      2004
      Guzman/Rivas143/95
      Bellhorn/O.Cabrera118/57
      2005
      Castro/Punto66/63
      Uribe/Iguchi143/129
      2006
      Bartlett/Castillo99/142
      Guillen/Polanco144/107
      2007
      Bartlett/Castillo135/85
      Lugo/Pedroia139/132
      2008
      Punto/Casilla60/94
      Bartlett/Iwamura122/151
      2009
      O.Cabrera/Casilla57/64
      Jeter/Cano147/158
      2010
      Hardy/Hudson95/123
      Andrus/Kinsler144/102
      2011
      Nishioka/Casilla59/53
      Andrus/Kinsler142/144
      2012
      Dozier/Casilla81/83
      Peralta/Infante145/59
      2013
      Florimon/Dozier127/141
      Drew/Pedroia122/159

      If that's how you define reliability, then Drew better fits your definition.

      I appreciate the chart, but I'm not following the stability thing. Several of those guys were acquired through trade and free agency (including Drew). Drew/Dozier sounds a lot better for 2014-2016 than Florimon/Dozier?

      All I really noticed in that chart is that all the shortstops on the championship teams had the ability to hit. Although I believe Lugo had a down year that year.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Okay, I'll come out and admit it. I only want the Twins to sign Drew so they can call their middle infield a cool nickname:

      GIDDDP
      The Killer Ds
      Drezier
      The Venture Bros.

      Okay, so the last one doesn't make any sense. Screw you guys.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
      But all things considered, just as good a bridge as Florimon would.

      I think that is the crux of our argument. I think some of us have seen too many Tolberts and Nishiokas pass through in recent memory and are ready for a decent fielding, stable middle infield, which we might very well have in Florimon and Dozier.
      The problem with Tolbert and Nishioka is that they were bad baseball players. Florimon is much closer to a bad baseball player than Drew.

      Not that I'm hard opposed to Drew, but I'd rather see the Twins slot Florimon ninth and worry about getting Arcia and Hicks straightened out, than to suddenly just turn to free agency for every need.
      Two things.

      1. Slotting Drew in the lineup takes quite a bit of pressure off of Arcia and Hicks to produce.
      2. While I agree that free agency isn't always the best avenue to use, it should be used when it is the best option. In this case it is. Signing Drew is filling one gaping need through free agency, similar to pitching.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Which we've been saying for, what, three off-seasons now? That was the book on him when he was picked up off waivers. He has improved on that. Some.
      What do you expect from him? He is already arguably a top 5 SS, so even if he doesn't improve much, he's still very solid defensively. But he could still improve a bit more. #2 is not out of the question. #1 is not likely unless Simmons gets injured and can't play.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Why is FA inherently worse than drafting a player? Other than cost, but since they have more than $30MM available right now, why is that even an issue to you?
    1. Doomtints's Avatar
      Doomtints -
      This is the last I'll weigh in on this one:

      - Florimon does not really seem to be the 'SS of the future' -- so I completely understand looking at Drew.
      - Florimon's defense may have been overstated last year. But to the same token, his hitting may have been understated by an equal measure.
      - Drew would have been an exciting signing three years ago, but as it stands now a team would be lucky to get 1-1.5 good years from his bat. I would wager on more like around half a year, but I am on the more skeptical edge of the spectrum when it comes to Drew due to his recent injuries and overall decline.
      - We know that the Twins like to be patient with hitters, so Florimon is likely to get more time unless he really annoys somebody.
      - The Twins also have Escobar available, who is probably somewhere between Drew and Florimon in ability. Where exactly? No idea.
      - Danny Santana should be around should they both fail soon enough (end of 2014 or start of 2015).

      (Oh, and Jason Bartlett.)
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doomtints View Post
      This is the last I'll weigh in on this one:

      - Florimon does not really seem to be the 'SS of the future' -- so I completely understand looking at Drew.
      - Florimon's defense may have been overstated last year. But to the same token, his hitting may have been understated by an equal measure.
      - Drew would have been an exciting signing three years ago, but as it stands now a team would be lucky to get 1-1.5 good years from his bat. I would wager on more like around half a year, but I am on the more skeptical edge of the spectrum when it comes to Drew due to his recent injuries and overall decline.
      - We know that the Twins like to be patient with hitters, so Florimon is likely to get more time unless he really annoys somebody.
      - The Twins also have Escobar available, who is probably somewhere between Drew and Florimon in ability. Where exactly? No idea.
      - Danny Santana should be around should they both fail soon enough (end of 2014 or start of 2015).

      (Oh, and Jason Bartlett.)
      From Phill Miller today, this disconcerting quote:

      Among the most notable are former Twins Jason Bartlett, who agreed to a minor-league contract in November, and Jason Kubel, who signed a minor-league deal in December. Those two are projected to make the Twins' 25-man roster, and perhaps earn starting roles.

      http://www.startribune.com/sports/tw...239450721.html
    1. Doomtints's Avatar
      Doomtints -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      From Phill Miller today, this disconcerting quote:

      Among the most notable are former Twins Jason Bartlett, who agreed to a minor-league contract in November, and Jason Kubel, who signed a minor-league deal in December. Those two are projected to make the Twins' 25-man roster, and perhaps earn starting roles.

      http://www.startribune.com/sports/tw...239450721.html
      Interesting. The official word seems to be that Bartlett is a long shot, but maybe this message is meant to be motivation.

      "Good night, Jason. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely cut you in the morning."

      - Dread Pirate Ryan

      This is similar to how they treated Joe Nathan in spring training before giving him the closer's job.
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