Minnesota Twins get sloppy on Hicks roster move
Two days ago the news broke that catcher John Hicks had been claimed by the Tiger off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The team was attempting to open up a spot on their 40 man roster by outrighting Hicks. It wasn’t immediately known why and there was no corresponding roster move to replenish the roster to 40.
It was believed that the Twins were opening the spot up to add David Murphy, an additional infielder or perhaps even Jose Berrios to the roster. The team seemed like it was gearing up to move ahead with Murphy.
However, yesterday morning we learned that Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were being demoted, Danny Santana coming back form the and Alex Meyer was being recalled. We assumed that due to these changes Murphy no longer saw opportunity with the Twins and chose to pack it in. But that didn’t explain the reason why Hicks was exposed and lost to waivers.
It turns out Murphy was indeed the intended reason for Hicks being placed on waivers.
Murphy had actually decided to return home and be with his family. This begs the question as to why Terry Ryan tried to outright John Hicks before having the conversation with Murphy.
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“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched” would apply here. If Ryan had waited until he spoke to Murphy and found out where he was at, John Hicks would still be in the Twins organization today. Placing Hicks on waivers “was done in anticipation of calling up David Murphy” but it should have been done after communicating with Murphy.
Unless Murphy changed his mind after Hicks was placed on waivers (And the wording doesn’t suggest that was the case), this one’s on Ryan.
Outright waivers do take time and placing Hicks on waivers needed to occur before the roster spot was made available in order for Murphy to have hypothetically been added to it. However, the Twins could have DFA’d (designated for assignment) Hicks and made the Murphy move concurrently if needed. The DFA route would have been the safest and the outright waivers route should have been safe as well if there had been good communication—there wasn’t.
Now due to this sloppiness, the Twins have lost a capable 3rd catcher and don’t even have Murphy on the roster to show for it. This doesn’t reflect well on management.