Due to traveling home to Tulsa for the holidays, I found myself on unfortunate hiatus from my weekly review of the Twins. So I’ll go over the past two weeks. There hasn’t been terribly much, but some notes worth going over. Let’s review:
- Ryan Doumit was traded to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for pitching prospect Sean Gilmartin. Doumit seems to fit what the Braves need, and Gilmartin was Atlanta’s first round pick (28th overall) in 2011. He suffered through shoulder injuries last season, and still has plenty of upside at age 23. This is a nice deal for Minnesota, and likely improves the chance that Jason Kubel making the club as a DH and an occasional outfielder.
- RHP Yohan Pino was inked to a minor league deal. Pino, 30, was in the Reds system last season and finished with a 3.26 ERA in AAA.
- Chris Colabello’s contract was close to being sold to a team in South Korea, but the first baseman rejected the offer.
- The Twins addressed their need at catcher, signing Kurt Suzuki to a one-year deal. Suzuki, 30, will make 2.75 million plus incentives. The deal gives the Josmil Pinto more time to polish his skills, as the Twins hope he will be the starting backstop of the future.
- To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins outrighted speedy outfielder Darin Mastroianni to AAA Rochester. After a strong 2012 performance, Mastroianni struggled in 2013 with a .185/.229/.215 effort. I think he can bounce back, and I hope he does.
- The Twins announced their 2014 minor league coaching staff. You can read about it here.
Hot Stove Update
- The team continues to keep an eye on starting pitching, as there is still believed to be dialogue with Bronson Arroyo and former ace Johan Santana. The biggest news is the Twins plan on making a bid for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka finished last season 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 7.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. I wouldn’t really get hopes to high on this- it’s hard to imagine Minnesota outbidding teams like the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox (Ok, fingers crossed). Korean right-hander Suk-Min Yoon also remains on the team’s radar.
- The Twins have “checked in” on free-agent infielder Justin Turner. I doubt this happens. There might still be little interest in shortstop Stephen Drew, but the Twins are afraid of the draft pick compensation that comes with him.
- The Twins were apparently in on Eric Chavez before he signed a deal with the Diamondbacks. I think that would have been a nice fit.
- For a lot of the Twins rumblings, I highly recommend following 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson on twitter. The guy works hard and it pays off.
Former Twins Elsewhere
- Grant Balfour had a two-year deal with the Orioles, just to fall apart due to injury concerns after his physical.
- Danny Valencia was traded to Kansas City, and should see some playing time there.
- Denny Hocking is the new manager of the Angels Class A Advanced affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers.
- Joe Benson has signed a minor league deal with the Marlins.
- Just a few days after being claimed by the Cubs, Liam Hendriks was claimed by the Orioles. Who’s next?
- Steve Tolleson signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays.
The next time we’ll have a week in review, it will be 2014. Have a happy and safe New Years!