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  • Rumor Mill Round-Up: 1/6

    The last two weeks have been rather slow for the Twins, as well as all of baseball and the corporate world in general. Holidays falling on successive Wednesdays will do that. With that season now officially over, things should start kicking back into gear.

    And fortunately, even though we've seen little meaningful roster action recently, there are still plenty of intrepid reporters working diligently to keep our rumor appetites satiated. Let's get caught up on all Twins-related whispers:

    * Via an MLB contact, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reports that the Twins are still "kicking the tires" on Matt Garza. He notes that the club is willing to spend significantly on the free agent starter but are concerned about the number of guaranteed years in a potential contract.

    My assumption was that any interest the Twins had in Garza evaporated when they signed Ricky Nolasco, so I'd be really surprised if they're doing anything more than passively monitoring his situation at this point. He'll likely cost more than Nolasco to sign (perhaps more than Nolasco and Phil Hughes combined) and -- as I've discussed in these columns previously -- there's logic in leaving one rotation spot open for competition.

    The one thing that keeps this rumor faintly realistic is the fact that Garza is not tied to any draft pick compensation. If he would be willing to go as low as three years and the Twins are looking for a complete rotation overhaul, maybe something could work out. But it's really unlikely, as he remains one of the top names on the market.

    Steam Rating: 1/5


    * Wolfson also mentioned that, as of the end of December, the Twins still had not offered a contract to Johan Santana, adding that they "remain interested."

    Wolfson suggested that Santana does have offers on the table (all of the minor-league variety, presumably) and there was some buzz last week that the lefty was getting close to making a decision. Still nothing yet, though. I would guess that the Twins won't make a play unless he remains unsigned into February, when they'll have a better idea of his condition for the start of the season.

    Steam Rating: 3/5

    * John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote on Friday that the Reds have no money to spend and are thus very unlikely to re-sign Bronson Arroyo.

    Arroyo has been cited frequently as a target for the Twins, although the likelihood of such a match decreased substantially after the club brought back Mike Pelfrey.

    There hasn't been much buzz connecting the parties recently, and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com wrote a couple weeks ago that Arroyo "denies that he was ever close to an agreement" with Minnesota, contradicting a Ken Rosenthal report from earlier in the month that talks between the two sides were gaining momentum.

    I don't doubt that the Twins are still keeping an eye on Arroyo, but the same caveat applies as with Garza; it just doesn't make a ton of sense to spend big on filling that final rotation spot when you've got a handful of reasonable candidates to compete and prospects in waiting.

    Arroyo's price would have to drop to a pretty low level for this scenario to be plausible. Considering how slowly his market has developed, I suppose it's possible.

    Steam Rating: 2/5

    * Last week Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors listed the Twins among teams that could use Stephen Drew the most.

    Indeed, few teams across baseball have as great a need for an adequate short-term or long-term solution at shortstop, but Minnesota has been openly wary about surrendering a draft pick to sign any free agent and Drew would require one.

    As Dierkes notes in his column, "they seem set with [Pedro] Florimon." And for better or worse, that's probably true.

    Steam Rating: 1/5
    This article was originally published in blog: Rumor Mill Round-Up: 1/6 started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      I think you have them rated about right. To me Santana makes the most sense. I think it would be fine that he may not be ready for the start of the season. That would give us time to sort out our roster. He would be the "6th" starter but I just read where last year MLB teams average 32 starts not from their top 5 starters(Fangraphs). As a fan this is the move I would like to see. I realize he will not be CY Johan but he could be better than most of our current starters. I don't care if they sign Arroyo or Garza. I don't want Drew.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Buzzkill. You and your reasonable arguments.
    1. dougkoebernick's Avatar
      dougkoebernick -
      Does anyone think that if they were to sign Garza that they would then trade Correia? It frees up some money and a spot in the rotation. While not the move that most people would see coming we are talking about a GM who traded two center fielders last year to open up a spot there.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Homer Bailey may be available.....
      The Astros might make their catcher, Castro, available......I'd trade for him for the right price.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      Are the Twins interested in Jeff Baker at all
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Haren and Zumaya? Let's bring back Pat Neshek!
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I think your rankings need to be inversed. This off-season Terry Ryan is clearly opporating opposite of his instincts. Watch him in action here.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Latest rumor is the Mets won't go 2 years for Drew, because they don't really want him either.

      Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Nats, Cards, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Dodgers, D-Backs, Padres - all of them are probably out on Drew. Even the Red Sox have Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I think your rankings need to be inversed. This off-season Terry Ryan is clearly opporating opposite of his instincts. Watch him in action here.
      That's right. Terry, go right up to 'em. "I'm Masahiro Tanaka. Hiii."
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Latest rumor is the Mets won't go 2 years for Drew, because they don't really want him either.

      Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Nats, Cards, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Dodgers, D-Backs, Padres - all of them are probably out on Drew. Even the Red Sox have Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.
      So Boras lets him fall into our laps by Spring Training? Drew playing SS in 120 games primarily against RHP. keeps him healthy.... and OPSing near somewhere around .795-.870 with quality defense seems well worth $10M or a little more and the loss of a 2nd rd pick....
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Latest rumor is the Mets won't go 2 years for Drew, because they don't really want him either.

      Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Nats, Cards, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Dodgers, D-Backs, Padres - all of them are probably out on Drew. Even the Red Sox have Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.
      That doesn't leave a whole lot of teams.
    1. thetank's Avatar
      thetank -
      Drew is injury-proned. Sometimes wanting is better than having.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      I don't doubt that the Twins are still keeping an eye on Arroyo, but the same caveat applies as with Garza; it just doesn't make a ton of sense to spend big on filling that final rotation spot when you've got a handful of reasonable candidates to compete and prospects in waiting.
      It's time for TD pundits to do some reporting. What are the odds on a 1-5 scale that the Twins are constantly being mentioned as never before such that they are legitimately still in on all of the mentioned potential starters and others you didn't mention? Isn't there a reasonably good argument that TR must have some back-pocket options on moving Correia should he be able to land an upgrade?

      The lost draft pick for Drew can be fairly easily recouped through trade for a legit prospect or making a QO when Drew's contract expires- the local scribes should enjoin the Twins from getting away with utilizing this "loss of a draft pick" canard....and simply shouldn't be accepted as a valid excuse for precluding such an obvious upgrade.... this is an unwillingness to spend available dollars while only taking on a little additional risk without blocking a deserving prospect.

      On a semi-serious note, could the Twins turn the tables on the Red Sox, and incentivize Boras and Steve Drew and make a joint pact with the brothers Drew.....by bringing JD back to the Twins Cities and out of retirement, in a Jim Thome-like role (career OPS+ 125 hitter and only 38)?
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Rumor mill is about as cold as the weather. (Thanks for the round-up though, Nick).
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      Haren and Zumaya? Let's bring back Pat Neshek!
      wish. Need to buy a "d"
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Homer Bailey may be available.....
      The Astros might make their catcher, Castro, available......I'd trade for him for the right price.
      Interesting Jeremy Nygard-like article on Castro and pitch-framing.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jason...tcher-framing/
      A Stanford product who has taken a cerebral and "glutteal" approach to improving his framing numbers in 2013.

      I'd be on board. Big, lefty-hitting C balances out the position nicely. Projected to make $2.2M in 2014. Which prospect is an even-up trade? One of the thumpers (Walker, Vargas, Harrison)? I wouldn't want to give up much more than that, certainly not any of the top 5 pitching prospects.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      I'd love them to sign Garza. Aside from Nolasco the rest of their projected rotation hasn't proven much lately, though still should be a decent improvement. I'd sign Drew too but I care a lot less about spending Pohlad money than most people. Good to see the FO shelling it out this offseason though, hopefully they keep it going.
    1. chuchadoro's Avatar
      chuchadoro -
      Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
      I'd love them to sign Garza. Aside from Nolasco the rest of their projected rotation hasn't proven much lately, though still should be a decent improvement. I'd sign Drew too but I care a lot less about spending Pohlad money than most people. Good to see the FO shelling it out this offseason though, hopefully they keep it going.
      I'm also glad the Twins have gone out and spent some money in FA. On the other hand, what choice did they have? The Twins would have a payroll of $60-65m in 2014 if they had done their usual offseason dumpster diving. I'm guessing Dave St. Peter didn't want to run a "This is Houston Astros Territory" marketing campaign after three 90 loss seasons.

      After years of poor drafting, players aging, leaving and/or being sold at their lowest value, the Twins had no in-house players to extend (besides the Milkman and Pony Boy). The core of the next competitive Twins team will be making league minimum for most of the rest of the decade. Most of those guys aren't on the major league team yet. The Twins could not afford to trot out a AAAA team again without risking long-term damage to their brand.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Interesting Jeremy Nygard-like article on Castro and pitch-framing. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jason...tcher-framing/A Stanford product who has taken a cerebral and "glutteal" approach to improving his framing numbers in 2013. I'd be on board. Big, lefty-hitting C balances out the position nicely. Projected to make $2.2M in 2014. Which prospect is an even-up trade? One of the thumpers (Walker, Vargas, Harrison)? I wouldn't want to give up much more than that, certainly not any of the top 5 pitching prospects.
      I would call that more Parker Hageman-esque, though our good looks can lead to confusion.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I would call that more Parker Hageman-esque, though our good looks can lead to confusion.
      Yes, but how are you when mom makes pizza rolls?
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