Terry Ryan is acutely aware of how difficult it is to acquire front-end starting pitching. After trading Denard Span for Alex Meyer a year ago, he explained the logic behind giving up an established major-league regular for a player who hadn't yet played above Single-A, noting that with potential No. 1 starters, "Sometimes you've got to them when they're in the early stages of their pro career or you aren't going to get them, period."
He's right. Once a high-end pitching prospect reaches
In their first turn through the rotation this past season, the Twins sent out Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks and Pedro Hernandez.
Opening the year with numerous backup plans already plugged into the starting five set the stage for a tumultuous campaign that exposed the organization's miserable starting pitching depth at the high levels.
Overly lengthy auditions for guys like Worley, Hernandez and Scott Diamond, along with painful redux
Answering the same question over and over again had to be growing tiresome for Twins officials.
Because baseball fans in general are becoming increasingly analytic in the way they watch the game (this site serves as a great example), and because the organization has earned a reputation for taking a more traditional, scouting-based approach, seemingly every interview with an exec or front office member has included some query on the Twins' progress in the area of statistical analysis.
Looking over the front page of the Star Tribune's sports section on Thanksgiving morning, I couldn't help but notice the irony.
The top story: Pat Reusse's annual "Turkey of the Year" column, in which the longtime scribe called out Terry Ryan as the top goat in Minnesota sports for the past year.
Just below, also above the fold, was the headline, "Pitcher Nolasco headed to Twins," with a subhead indicating that the pitcher had been signed to
Despite the acknowledgement of Twins officials that the club has plenty of financial flexibility this offseason, many fans have understandably been reluctant to believe that truly aggressive measures are in the offing. A lack of early activity has only served to magnify that skepticism, but as we've often noted, this isn't at all unusual in the weeks prior to the Winter Meetings, especially in a shifting marketplace.
While we haven't seen any bold moves yet,