Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
We have reached the end of November and the conclusion of my first full month as the editor of Puckett’s Pond. It’s been fun and I think fairly busy for a baseball site in the month of November. I decided we should look back and see what the top stories of the month were.
Here is your Minnesota Twins November Top Five.
I am going to cheat right off the bat. I couldn’t decide between two stories for the last spot, so I gave them both the last spot in the rankings. I’m an indecisive man.
First, the Twins signed Jason Bartlett to a minor league deal which was pretty big news for about thirty minutes, will get into why that was the case later. Bartlett is not a huge signing and is not the same Jason Bartlett that was an All-Star for the Tampa Bay Rays after his first stint with the Twins. The most Bartlett can do is give competition and that’s not a bad thing.
(I received an email suggesting that they think that Bartlett will be the Opening Day shortstop for the Twins. Crazier things have been stated, last year I said that Rich Harden would be a major part of the Twins rotation. We see how that worked out.)
Second, the Twins traded Duke Welker back to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a fella named Kris Johnson. I don’t really have a lot to say about this because it seems like it’s trading a Diet Coke for a Coke Zero, not a big difference.
They invent panic alarms for this sole reason. You hit the panic button when your top two prospects are sent home hurt. Now it doesn’t seem like either are going to miss any major time, but it’s still alarming. “This is why we can never have nice things,’ just screams through your head.
Let’s just be thankful this happened in November and not July, when we are fully encompassed in baseball fever.
3. Eddie Rosario Suspended
It all kind of compounds itself when another one of your top prospects gets handed a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test. Rosario does not have the name power that Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton have, but the Twins still do hope for him to be a major part of the team going forward.
Some expected Rosario to make his major league debut in 2014, but this 50-game suspension will probably delay his debut with the big boys.
2. Ricky Nolasco Signs
Twins fans got their dessert a day early this Thanksgiving. The news was broken just a day before Turkey Day that Ricky Nolasco will be headed east from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the much more frigid Target Field. Nolasco comes after spending his entire career in the Senior Circuit, but surely seems like an upgrade over every starter the Twins currently have. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Did I mention that Nolasco signed the biggest deal in Twins free agent history? It’s kind of a big deal.
1. Joe Mauer Moves to First
If Ricky Nolasco signs any other month of the offseason, he probably gets the top billing, but when the franchise player moves positions that wins the battle. On a day that started with the Jason Bartlett signing, Joe Mauer (and the Twins ) announced that the ex-American League MVP would be moving to first base full time in 2014.