Winter Meeting Thoughts: Cuddyer, Turpen, Doyle, and a Correction


The Winter Meetings are over, a mere 13 days before actual winter begins. Suddenly the Angels are the new Marlins. Sorry Marlins, your day in teh sun is over. Some other observations on the news of the day:

The Michael Cuddyer watch continues. In case you haven’t heard by now, he has a three year offer from Colorado to compete with the one from the Twins. Unlike new Rockie Kevin Slowey, Colorado could be a hospitable environment for Cuddy. He has shown 30 homer power before; in the thin air of Denver, he might be able to reach 35. If Cuddyer has to leave, I really don’t want it to be Colorado that gets him. The Rockies have the 10th pick in the draft next year, so the Twins would not get their first round pick if Cuddyer signs there. They’d have to settle for Colorado’s Round Two pick (plus a supplemental selection). The highest pick the Twins could receive in compensation for Cuddyer is #16, currently held by the Washington Nationals (Hey Nats: stop sniffing after Denard Span and make an offer to Cuddyer instead!).

Daniel Turpen, the Player Who Was Named Later in the Slowey trade, seems destined to spend his career as a journeyman reliever. He’s already bounced around the Giants, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rockies organizations. The Yankees claimed him in the Rule 5 Draft in 2010, presumably just to spite the Red Sox. This piece written about him last year says that Turpen was happy to finally have a home with the Rockies AA club. Now the evil Twins have snatched him away from his home.

I’m okay with Turpen as the return for Slowey. I’ll be surprised if he ever becomes a significant contributor for the Twins, but it’s possible. He has some talent, including a funky delivery and legitimate velocity, and those are tools that could in theory make him an effective reliever. His stats from the last two seasons are not pretty, but it could be worse. Slowey was damaged goods, so any return at all is better than nothing.

Prior to the Rule 5, I developed a bit of a stat-crush on Thomas Pham (I just made up the term “stat-crush” – it refers to a player whose stats get you really excited, even though you’ve never seen him play. Feel free to use it if you like it). But the Twins had different priorities. Those priorities often seem to involve soft-tossing, back-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, but hey, there’s no accounting for taste.

If Terry Doyle makes the team, great. If he ends up being a decent MLB pitcher, even better. But I have pretty much no expectations for Doyle. Anything he contributes is a bounus as far as I’m concerned. I do, however, reserve the right to say “I told you so” if Pham becomes a much better player.

Yesterday I posted two articles about the Rule 5 Draft, and I referred to it as the “Rule V Draft.” It was pointed out to my by several people that this is not the preferred way to write it. I had been under the impression that both were acceptable, but further internet research revealed that “Rule 5” is indeed preferred, so I corrected the old posts. Perhaps I was influenced by the fact that the Super Bowl, the one time of year Americans freely use Roman Numerals, is less than two months away. Or maybe it was because Baseball Reference made the same mistake… Anyway, I learned something, and I hope it’s a learning experience for some of you, too.