Yesterday morning I listed a couple dozen pitchers who might be competing for bullpen slots next spring. That list became obsolete about six hours later, as the Twins shortened it by two names. Jim Hoey and Jose Mijares are no longer with the team.
Hoey was waived by the Twins, and the Toronto Blue Jays claimed him. He was not a candidate for arbitration, so he wasn’t in line for any sort of raise. Evidently the Twins wanted to open up a roster slot or three in anticipation of a free agent signing, and Hoey was deemed one of the most expendable pitchers on the team. I don’t know if they had completely given up on him, or if the organization was hoping he would clear waivers and be able to stay on the minor league roster. Whatever the hope was, the Blue Jays saw some promise in Hoey. He’s already 28 years old and has yet to pitch anywhere close to well in the Majors, but the same high-velocity fastball that lured the Twins had some appeal to Toronto as well. The Jays, unlike the Twins, did not have to give up any players in return.
If you want to read deeper into this move (and as an online baseball blogger, it’s my job to make too much of every little move), you could say it’s a sign that Terry Ryan doesn’t have as much faith in Hoey as Bill Smith did. Smith infamously dealt shortstop J.J. Hardy for Hoey last year. With Hoey gone, Brett Jacobson is now the sole remaining player from the J.J. Hardy trade. Actually, since Hardy was obtained in return for Carlos Gomez, who was in turn obtained from the Mets, Jacobson and Deolis Guerra are the two remaining heirs of the Johan Santana deal. Jacobson was 5-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 100 innings for New Britain last year. Guerra had a 5.59 ERA for the same AA team in a season that (believe it or not) was considered a major step forward. Before you start fuming about that series of trades, though, keep in mind that Santana missed all of 2011 and collected nearly $22 million from the Mets. And they still owe him $75 million for the next three years. Yes, it’s fair to say that both teams came out losers in that deal!
Mijares was non-tendered. Maybe this shouldn’t surprise me, but it kind of did. Yes, the bulky lefty had an awful season last year, but prior to that he was pretty effective. In his career, he has held left-handed hitters to a .212/.276/.331 line. In 2009, he put up a 2.34 ERA and struck out 55 in 61.2 innings. Sure, he was up for a raise in arbitration, but I really don’t think he would have pulled down more than $700,000 to $800,000 – small potatoes for an experienced reliever. Remember, we are talking about the same team that just gave out $4.5 million to Matt Capps. Hard to believe that the same team can’t find three quarters of a million for Mijares. Maybe they were worried about his balance. I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time Mijares threw a pitch, a small part of me was worried that he might tip over. He just looked unstable. Anyway, I hope he stays upright with his new team, wherever that is.
No, that last line wasn’t a fat joke about Mijares. I would never stoop to that level.
- Remember that big hullabaloo about the prince who got married in England last year? I hope this wedding is even bigger than that. Fortunately, I am pretty sure Mauer makes more money than the prince does, so he probably won’t need a bunch of British taxpayers to foot the bill. And instead of the obnoxious hats the royals wore, everyone can just wear Twins caps to this event.
- Fortunately, they won’t have to bust the budget for entertainment. Mauer can perform himself, since he is such an incredibly talented singer.
- I hope the new wife will make Mauer toe the line, the way my wife does for me. I wanted to call in sick to work a few weeks back, but she told me to suck it up. Next time Mr. Mauer goes on the DL, Mrs. Mauer may provide a little extra motivation for a quick return.
- More than anything, I hope this marriage produces a half dozen strong male offspring. The Mauers are a baseball family, and it’d be nice to have a couple of them available when the Twins get ready for the 2032 draft.
- Joe – I know you want to send me an invitation, but you probably don’t have my mailing address. Just send the e-vite to [email protected]