December Review: Top Five Minnesota Twins Stories


Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I learned my lesson last month. I wrote the Month in Review piece on the last day of the month, then that night the Twins decided to sign Phil Hughes that night. Soooo… Phil Hughes will be included in this month although the news of his signing was technically broke in November.

It was a busy month for the Minnesota Twins. The month included some big signings and a trade. I love it when things are eventful! Let’s count down the top five Minnesota Twins stories of December.

Honorable Mention: Designate Liam Hendriks for Assignment / Outright Darin Mastroianni

With the signing of Phil Hughes the Twins needed to get some room on the 40-man roster. Liam Hendriks drew the short straw and was designated for assignment on December 5.  The move was only a tad shocking because it was him and not someone else.

Darin Mastroianni was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester on December 23 for the same reasons, more 40-Man room was needed with the signings of Kurt Suzuki and Mike Pelfrey. This happened after the Twins attempted to send Chris Colabello to Korea, but Colabello turned that down. Mastroianni went through waivers, but all teams passed.

No. 5: Jason Kubel Signs Minor League Deal

November brought us the return of Jason Bartlett and Terry Ryan decided to further reassemble the band in December by bringing back Jason Kubel. Kubel came back to town on December 13 on a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. It looks like Kubel has a very good chance of making the Opening Day roster for the Twins.

No. 4: Twins Sign Kurt Suzuki

After missing out on ex-Twins A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, it looked like the Twins might have to settle with Josmil Pinto as the primary catcher in 2014. Apparently, Terry Ryan doesn’t settle. It was first reported on December 20 that the Twins and Kurt Suzuki had agreed to a deal. Suzuki will most likely be the primary catcher for the first couple months of 2014 while mentoring and eventually handing the reins over to Pinto.

No. 3: Twins Trade Ryan Doumit to Atlanta

A couple of days before the signing of Kurt Suzuki on December 18, the Twins sent Ryan Doumit to the Atlanta Braves for pitching prospect Sean Gilmartin. The trade of Ryan Doumit opened up a bigger hole behind the plate or at least solidified it. Doumit’s departure also opened up the DH position for the likes of Jason Kubel.

No. 2: Mike Pelfrey Signs Two-Year Deal

Many of the moves the Twins have made this offseason have been universally approved, this one had some opposition. On December 14, it was first reported that the Minnesota Twins had agreed to a two-year deal with starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey after having a mediocre year in 2013 for the Twins. Pelfrey looked to improve further away from his Tommy John surgery, Twins fans will see if that continues for the next two years.

No. 1: Twins Sign Phil Hughes*

Like I said, I’m kind of cheating here. It was first reported on November 30 that the Twins had agreed to a deal with ex-Yankee Phil Hughes, but it was reported in the late evening and more a December story than a November story. The addition of Phil Hughes helped the revamp of the starting rotation pairing him with earlier acquired Ricky Nolasco.

That’s what happened the past month for the Minnesota Twins. We’re now in a calendar year with 161 games still to play. You can almost taste the baseball in the air.