Twins Week in Review


Jul 31, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan speaks to the media prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors swirling the past few days as the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings are set to take place, and the Twins had a fairly active week. Let’s review:

  • The signing of Ricky Nolasco became official on Tuesday afternoon, as the Twins introduced their new pitcher at Target Field. Nolasco signed the biggest free agent contract in franchise history at 4 years and 48 million. Nolasco will wear no. 47.
  • Two days later, Minnesota introduced Phil Hughes, who was signed to a three-year, 24 million deal. He has a career 4.10 ERA on the road and is only 27 years old. He’ll wear no. 45.
  • To make room on the 40 man roster for Hughes, the Twins designated righty Liam Hendriks for assignment. Hendriks was for the most part fantastic in AAA, but the Australian native could never make the adjustment at the MLB level.
  • Minnesota made a few minor signings, inking 3B Brandon Waring and LHP Matt Hoffman to minor league deals with invitations to spring training. Hoffman is the more notable of the two, posting a 2.06 ERA with a 9.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 for the Tigers’ AAA affiliate

  • After being linked to both A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Twins lost out on both catchers on the same day. Pierzynski signed a one year deal with the Red Sox and Saltalamacchia signed a 3 year pact with the Marlins. The Twins have said they will be moving forward with Josmil Pinto as their primary catcher in 2014.

Hot Stove Update:

General Manager Terry Ryan confirmed during Ricky Nolasco’s introductory press conference that the club was not done looking for pitching, including the free agent market. The team has been linked to names such as Bronson Arroyo, Matt Garza, Chris Capuano, Gavin Floyd and Johan Santana. There are also options via trade, such as Brett Anderson, Homer Bailey or Jeremy Hellickson. The team is also still linked to Mike Pelfrey… ugh. As far as offense is concerned, while the Twins are set to go with Josmil Pinto at catcher, they have been linked to John Buck the past week. I wouldn’t complain from a Buck signing. It’d be a cheap, one-year incentive laden deal. It’s the same idea as Pierzynski, giving Pinto more time to develop and be ready, except Buck a)  doesn’t have a history with the Twins or b) as good as Pierzynski.  Potential trade chips include Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario, though Rosario’s value may have taken a hit in light of his recent 50 game suspension. I expect one of the above mentioned names to be a Twin by this time next week.

Former Twins Elsewhere:

  • Justin Morneau signed a 2 year deal with the Rockies, worth a total of 12.5 million. I was upset when Justin was traded to Pittsburg, and I’m bummed he won’t be in a Twins uniform next season. I’m a fan first, and I loved Morneau. With that, as a resident of Denver, I’m excited to watch Morneau and Michael Cuddyer hit in the same lineup again come April.
  • The Rockies also signed Jason Pridie to a minor league deal.
  • Delmon Young is working out at first base, with hopes to entice interest from teams around the league. Good luck, Delmon.
  • Joe Nathan returns to the AL Central, signing a two year deal with the Tigers.
  • Carl Pavano is looking to make a comeback, but it doesn’t seem the Twins are too interested in bringing the mustache back.
  • Garrett Jones, who was non-tendered by Pittsburg, is said to be close to a deal with the Marlins.

My guess is the Twins will be at the very least active in a lot of discussions this week at the Winter Meetings. My hope is that they are able to swing a trade for a starting pitcher, specifically A’s lefty Brett Anderson. Here’s to an exciting week ahead.