Welcome to your daily dose of Minnesota Twins news, recapping the last 24 hours on the Hot Stove.
ESPN’s Keith Law writes (Insider) that both the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees did well in the Aaron Hicks–John Ryan Murphy swap, gaining a roster piece that fit better with their respective current club.
Law notes Hicks has tremendous defensive upside, which will earn him a regular role in the Bronx. Murphy projects an everyday catcher with improving defense and a high upside with the bat, though not an all-star catcher. Gaining stability, he said, was the among the biggest keys for the Twins in the trade.
A.J. Pierzynski re-signed with the Atlanta Braves just hours after the Murphy deal. A reunion with Pierzynksi was a strong option for the Twins to upgrade behind the plate in a one-year platoon role with Kurt Suzuki. I questioned on Twitter if Minnesota pulled the trigger on the Murphy trade with knowledge of the veteran catcher’s decision, or if the trade pushed Pierzynski’s back to Atlanta. Ken Rosenthal tweets that he turned down more lucrative offers to return, where mutual interest has been noted in the past.
Staying with Rosenthal, he reports at least two other teams bid north of $11 million for Byung-ho Park. A few executives loved his exit velocity off the bat, while others expressed concern over his long swing and strikeouts when facing harder throwing pitchers in the U.S.
Here’s a few other notes from Rosenthal:
"● Some teams were surprised that a high-revenue team did not post the highest bid, considering that posting fees do not count against a team’s luxury-tax payroll.● Park is playing for Korea in the Premier 12 international tournament that will conclude on Nov. 21, before his negotiating period with the Twins is over. The risk of injury is considerable, but for Park the pull of national pride evidently was stronger."
Twins Daily did some additional review of Park in the Korean KBO leagues. And did their homework very well.
Miguel Sano isn’t playing outfield in the Dominican Leagues, but GM Terry Ryan says he has no plans on trading his corner infielders. That could simply be managing public perception and expectations. Ryan notes in the article the Twins will sort it out in Spring Training. The Star Tribune articles note that offense is clearly Ryan’s priority early in the off season.
Atlanta is shopping shortstop Andrelton Simmons, but to this point the Twins are not mentioned as a team checking in on the defensive star. Reports in the attached link have the Padres, Mets, Dodgers and Angels checking, with the Braves returning an asking price of Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey from New York. Internal candidate Eduardo Escobar continues to be the favorite for Minnesota’s semi-open job.