Winter Meetings Day 1: Twins News & Rumors

Day one of baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville is drawing to a close and while the Twins rotation still sucks, there wasn’t a complete lack of Twins-related news coming out of the Gaylord Opryland Resort. OK, calling it Twins “news” might be a stretch, but at least the Twins were mentioned here and there among all the rumors floating out of Nashville.

The Grand Ole Opry… Nashville’s second biggest attraction this week.

I spent the better part of my day refreshing various web sites that track the latest rumors and reading Twitter messages being posted by all of the Twins beat reporters representing  various media outlets. After all, I had to make sure I didn’t miss anything interesting. I was keeping up pretty well, too, at least until someone with a pretty screwed up set of priorities scheduled me in to back-to-back conference calls starting at 3:00 pm.

Speaking of those hard-working reporters down in Nashville, you really should be following them on Twitter, if you aren’t already: Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com (@RhettBollinger), Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN (@PMac21), Ben Goessling of the Pioneer-Press (@BenGoesslingPP) and LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune (@LaVelleNeal). Of course, MLBTradeRumors.com is a must-follow this week (and most weeks), as well.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of what I saw and heard around this here interweb thingy today:

  • Terry Ryan stated that the Twins have checked in on every available free agent pitcher, but that some are more realistic than others. (Yeah… I bet.)
  • Ryan also indicated the Twins would almost certainly participate in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. They have the 4th pick so not participating would be pretty stupid.
  • The Twins remain interested in right-hander Brett Myers. They may or may not have competition for Myers from the Orioles, depending on whose rumor you believe.
  • Other lesser (and in some cases, much lesser) pitchers that the Twins have been linked to include: Joe Blanton, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan. Mike Pelfrey and Vicente Padilla. Blanton and Lannan, in particular, are reportedly high on the Twins’ list.
  • Ryan Dempster is the only pitcher remotely close to being considered a top-half-of-the-rotation option that I’ve seen even mentioned in connection with the Twins today.
  • While the Twins have indicated they’re likely to be focused on free agents during the winter meetings, other teams have continued to check in with them about the availability of both Ben Revere and Josh Willingham.
  • Terry Ryan stated that Joe Mauer will not be traded.
  • In addition to pitching, the Twins are likely to acquire a third baseman to provide competition for Trevor Plouffe during Spring Training. However, it’s unlikely they’ll add more middle infielders, which means Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon, Jamey Carroll and Eduardo Escobar are most likely going to be manning SS and 2B, for better or… you know… worse.
  • Pitcher Liam Hendriks had some elbow surgery to remove bone chips and won’t pitch for Australia during the World Baseball Classic. Nick Blackburn had a similar procedure done at about the same time. Both should be ready to go by Spring Training.
  • Joe Mauer (USA) and Justin Morneau (Canada) do plan to participate in the WBC for their respective home countries.
  • Manager Ron Gardenhire commented to media about his time in the Twins’ “War Room” at the hotel: “I’m listening to them all and they’re trading my whole darn team!” He was kidding. (We think.)
  • Chris Parmelee may be the early contender for the Twins’ RF job, but Darin Mastroianni and Ryan Doumit could compete for the job.

I’m posting this a bit before 8:00 pm CT Monday night and suffice to say I’m pretty disappointed in Day 1, so far. Joe Blanton is the top pitcher the Twins have been connected to in any manner more than just having “checked in on.”

Newsflash for Terry Ryan: Joe Blanton will not solve your problems, sir. Nor will additions of that caliber bring fans back to Target Field. You can do better.

You must do better.

- JC

 

6 thoughts on “Winter Meetings Day 1: Twins News & Rumors

  1. Jim,

    I told you the Twins were not going to do anything to really improve the starting rotation. Just watch all the writers and bloggers agree with whatever they do.

  2. I don’t think all the writers will, Jack. Just listened to Phil Mackey on 1500ESPN radio a few minutes ago and he made the point that the Twins can’t settle for signing a bunch of bottom of the rotation fillers like Blanton and expect to keep 30,000 people coming to Target Field. I don’t agree with everything Mackey says/writes, certainly, but his thinking on this point is pretty much in line with my own. If Terry Ryan punts on really improving the rotation and thus on even pretending to compete in 2013, that may or may not be the “right” strategy for the organization long term, but he needs to know he’s going to cost a lot of people their jobs… from beer vendors at TF to his manager.

  3. It will be interesting to see how it all plans out. There are only so many roster spots and so much money available. As tams fill spots, the $$$ become less (maybe) or the choices lower in the standings. Waiting, really, to see what does happen to Hamilton and Grienke. Both may be in for a rude awakening and if some of the lesser guys (McCarthy, for example) jump the gun…they might get decent $$$. Also curious to see what Lohse is offered. Again, only 40-50 roster spots availble, and not all of them for $7+ million contracts.

  4. Why is “competition for Plouffe” at 3B even a priority, when they have nothing but replacement-level talent in the middle infield?

    Blanton & Lannan are sadly predictable targets; if Ryan doesn’t get them, he’ll sign a couple guys like them. But if he gets Dempster & Myers, as well, how would you feel about that?

  5. I’ve never been particularly big on Dempster, but signing him would at least tell me Terry Ryan is not totally giving up on 2013. Myers should just be considered a lottery ticket that isn’t likely to pay off but if it does, it’s a bonus.

  6. Dan Haren off the table as of today.

    I think the Twins should go for Greinke. Of course, I don’t expect them to, but I can dream.