Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton against the East during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Twins wrapped up Twins Fest Sunday afternoon with a fairly quiet week, but some certain things of note. Let’s review:
- Byron Buxton was recently ranked the top overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com. This comes as no surprise to anyone who follows Buxton, but it’s still nice to see him at the top of the list. Joining Buxton, Miguel Sano also ranks 4th overall, and the top 3rd base prospect. Sano was very open during Twins Fest about his expectations this year, including that he wants to make the team out of Spring Training. It’s really a long shot, Sano would need to have a MONSTER Spring in order for it to be considered. However, expect him with the team at some point this year. Buxton, on the other hand, is quickly rising through the Twins system. I also imagine he should see the Target Field grass at some point this season.
- Other names in MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list include no. 28 Alex Meyer, no. 40 Kohl Stewart and no. 90 Jose Berrios. You can see the full list here.
- Andrew Albers, the club’s 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is likely headed to the Korean Baseball League. You can’t blame him- making the rotation in Minnesota will be tough with Diamond, Worley and Gibson as competitors for the 5th spot in the rotation. As Pond editor Collin Katke points out: with a mid 80s fastball and low strikeout rate, Albers is not that valuable to this team at the moment. Still, I liked Albers. In Rochester last year, he posted a 2.86 ERA in 22 starts. In his stint in Minnesota, he posted a 4.05 ERA in 10 starts. Albers also has a chance to make big money in Korea- much more than he would in Rochester.I wish him the best of luck and success. Albers leaves a spot open on the 40 man roster. If no one else is signed, my guess is Jason Kubel takes it.
- Chuck Knoblauch will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. This is a fantastic move; Chuck is one of the best players in team history. Knoblauch was Rookie of the Year in 1991, helping lead the team to a World Series title. He finished his career in Minnesota with a .304/.391/.416 line. Most importantly, he’s one of the reasons why I grew up playing second base.
Hot Stove Update
- GM Terry Ryan recently said there are still some free agents he is looking at before Spring Training starts, and Ron Gardenhire has said the team is circling back and going after a particular free agent. The most likely names are Bronson Arroyo or Stephen Drew, assuming this a free agent to sign a Major League deal. My own personal hunch is that it is Drew. He would be a clear upgrade at shortstop over Pedro Florimon. The holdup may very well be that Minnesota isn’t Drew’s top choice, and understandably so. The Twins have been connected to Arroyo since the start of the offseason, but wouldn’t you think they would’ve made it happen by now if they really wanted him? I like the idea, and I bet the Twins do too, of leaving open the 5th spot in the rotation for guys to battle it out and earn this spring.
- I mentioned weeks ago that the Twins should go after Johan Santana, and I still stand my reasoning (I’m such a fan first). Terry Ryan opened up about the discussion of a reunion with Santana, and it sounds like this decision is up to Johan. It’s an exciting low-risk, high reward option. Santana won’t be ready until mid-summer, and that may present an issue in the process.
Former Twins Elsewhere
- After a deal with the Orioles fell through, Grant Balfour has a 2 year deal with the Rays.
- Carl Pavano is working out in Arizona looking to comeback after missing all of 2013.
- Matt Garza signed a 4 year deal with the Brewers. His name was connected with the Twins for much of the offseason.
- Jose Mijares inked a minor league deal with Red Sox with an invitation to Spring Training.
- Matt Guerrier is still hoping to attract teams as he also attempts to comeback from injury.