• 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. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      The draft pick loss could just be a negotiating ploy. If Drew has no one looking to sign him the Twins could swoop in with a 2 year 14 -18 million offer with an option come 2nd week of February
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      I'm all for signing one more pitcher. Garza or Arroyo will give the Twins more pitching depth and a better starter towards the top of the rotation. The Twins can always move Pelfry to the pen as his contract has 3.5 million tied up in incentives or they could trade Corriea. There is a lot of flexibility the Twins have should they go out and get another starter.

      The Twins were in on Davis earlier a speedy OF. would they be in on another one such as Pierre to be a 4th OF/ week armed CF?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
      Yes, but how are you when mom makes pizza rolls?
      Attachment 6285
    1. oldguy10's Avatar
      oldguy10 -
      Brandon says the Twins can always put Pelfrey in the pen but can he pitch well in that sort of situation? Many starters cannot make that transition, look at some of the results.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      Brandon says the Twins can always put Pelfrey in the pen but can he pitch well in that sort of situation? Many starters cannot make that transition, look at some of the results.
      Pelfrey should be able to have moderate success in the pen. He has a pretty hard, flat fastball. His secondary stuff isn't exemplary. He's the type of guy that *should* thrive in a situation where he throws less innings, throws harder, and doesn't get exposed by facing the same batters 3-4 times a game.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      Sign Johan. Sign Drew. Sign either Tanaka or Garza.

      That's what I want. What will we get?

      Maybe Johan on a minor league deal with an invite to ST. Drew? unlikely. Tanaka/Garza? keep dreaming.

      back to reality.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      I wish J.J. Hardy and Garza had never been traded. A curse upon you Bill Smith. I wonder if the Garza trade talk had started prior to TR stepping down or if it was all of Bill Smith's creation.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pleiss View Post
      I wonder if the Garza trade talk had started prior to TR stepping down or if it was all of Bill Smith's creation.
      Given that Ryan almost never trades pitching, I think that one is all on Smith. The only young pitcher I can recall Ryan trading during his tenure was Kyle Lohse, which isn't entirely unexpected considering the dude took a bat to his manager's door.
    1. twinsajsf's Avatar
      twinsajsf -
      While I would be mildly surprised, I would not be crazy shocked to see the Twins add Garza or Arroyo to the mix at this point. It sounds like we are willing to meet Garza's asking price per year, but for only 3 years vs. the 5 he wants. Maybe a 4th year option? Likewise, it sounds like we are not interested in more than a two year deal with Arroyo. The reason I don't think this is crazy, despite decent in-house competition for the 5th spot (Deduno, Gibson, Worley, Diamond, Albers) is that it would hedge against injuries and provide us with some decent trade value that we currently do not have. If we do not have any injuries in ST, and one or more of those mentioned above is pitching well, injuries to other rotations around the league could cause a team to panic and send us something pretty good in return for one of them or Correia.
    1. Lefty's Avatar
      Lefty -
      I don't understand why people think the rotation seems set and that there is no room for Garza? Slide him in at the top and push everyone else down a notch. Nolasco and Hughes are decent pitchers, would not be a 1-2 on any playoff team.
    1. Doomtints's Avatar
      Doomtints -
      People are afraid that the rookies will get blocked, and as some of them are out of options they will have to be released. No one would trade for them, considering they would be known to be hitting the waiver wire soon enough.

      I agree with you, however. You put the best team you can on the field, and if someone gets cut to make the team better you are managing your team correctly.....
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