* We've reached the end of January and Bronson Arroyo still hasn't found a home. In fact, according to the veteran right-hander, he still hasn't even received an official offer
. As Jayson Stark notes in his column, that's rather surprising considering that Arroyo is one of only two MLB pitchers (along with Mark Buehrle) to log 199 or more innings in each of the last nine seasons.
When baseball teams are committing huge sums of guaranteed money to pitchers, durability is a primary consideration, and few hurlers in the game can boast a track record that compares to Arroyo's. On top of that, he wasn't offered arbitration by the Reds so signing him would not require the forfeiture of a draft pick.
And yet, there he sits. There were reports earlier in the offseason that the Twins were gaining momentum in talks with the righty, but apparently no contract was actually offered. There has been no recent buzz connecting the two sides.
I've felt pretty firmly that the Twins were done adding pitchers after they signed with Mike Pelfrey (with the exception of a possible minor-league contract for someone like Johan Santana), so even if Arroyo's price keeps dropping, I can't see him ending up here.
However, it's starting to look like some club is going to end up getting a reasonable deal on this proven veteran workhorse. I never would have guessed that at the outset of the offseason.
* Ryan and the Twins continue to take fliers on former players who -- at least based on recent history -- appear to be washed up. The latest is Matt Guerrier
, who joins Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel as players to rejoin the organization in the wake of seasons that were marred by injury, poor performance or (in Bartlett's case) not actually playing.
I've got no problem with the strategy. How could you? There's no risk here. The Twins are guaranteeing essentially nothing to these players -- not even a spot on the 40-man roster -- and each has shown at some point within the past few years that he can play at a high level.
The Twins are already a little crowded in the bullpen, giving Guerrier a much tougher path to making the roster than Bartlett, who's trying to catch on in a shaky infield, or Kubel, who looks like the odds-on favorite to be regular DH despite his brutal 2013 campaign.
Guerrier is presently rehabbing from flexor tendon surgery in his elbow last August. That's a fairly significant operation, especially for a 35-year-old, so he's not exactly a great bet to come back and make an impact. With that said, he has remained largely effective when on the mound, so if he can indeed make a full recovery, he could end up being a great depth grab.
* The Twins announced on Thursday
the unconditional release of Andrew Albers, officially clearing way for the left-hander to head to Korea and continue his career.
The deal was held up a bit by some procedural complications, but it has been apparent for a while now that Albers was on his way out and -- as I wrote last week
-- that's the right move for both him and the Twins. His departure leaves a spot open on the 40-man roster, but I wouldn't expect it to be filled very quickly.
With just a couple weeks remaining until spring training, the Twins now have flexibility to make any late additions; a bench bat for the infield would seem to be the most likely.
There is also a good chance they'll need space on the 40-man in order to add Kubel and/or any other non-roster invitees who emerge in spring training. Albers could have very well been the odd man out in such a scenario anyway.