It is a tough time to be looking for starting pitchers. According to Jon Heyman, at least 15 teams are actively seeking starting pitching:
teams seeking starting pitcher: laa, lad (2), cle, sea, pit (2), kc, nym, tex, chic, minn (2), det, balt, tor, az, bos
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 4, 2012
The reality is that the other 15 teams are not going to pass up an opportunity to sign starting pitching either, as evidenced by the Nationals’ Day 2 signing of Dan Haren on a one-year $13 million dollar deal.
Unless the Twins are willing to spend dollars and years (a notion promoted by our own Jim Crikket), they’re going to have trouble finding free agents that want to sign with a ball club that doesn’t have an immediate opportunity to contend for a postseason birth. The Twins likely have an edge on some low-end free agent pitchers looking to rebuild their value on a one year deal, as the Twins play in a pitcher friendly park and generally face lesser offensive opponents (playing each AL Central opponent 18 times) than many of the other teams mentioned in Heyman’s tweet. But low-end free agent pitchers are easily had (Carl Pavano, John Lannan, etc.). With each passing hour it becomes less and less likely that the Twins make a move before the end of the Winter Meetings, but after talking with just about every free agent pitcher with a pulse, they should have at least laid the groundwork for a signing or two later this winter.
After a day of rumors and meetings, this is what Terry Ryan had to say at his end of day presser regarding making a move at the Winter Meetings, “That’s always a tough question. You never know. We could. We may not.” Don’t hold your breath, Twins fans.
Other Notable Rumors/Deals/Signings from Day Two:
- Shane Victorino reportedly close to signing with the Boston Red Sox for 3 years and $37.5 million.
- R.A. Dickey trades continue to dominate the news cycle.
- Zack Greinke remains a free agent, unlikely to sign before the Winter Meetings end
- The Diamondbacks are fielding trade offers for Justin Upton and Jason Kubel, and teams are asking about D’Backs young pitchers Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs (If the Diamondbacks move one or both of their outfielders, perhaps they’d be interested in dealing with the Twins for a young outfielder?).
- The Marlins are shopping Yunel Escobar.
- The Rangers continue to be the most likely home for Josh Hamilton, as talks continue to progress between those two parties.
- It sounds like the Twins are officially out of the Anibal Sanchez sweepstakes, unless they’re the Mystery Team.
- Jason Marquis re-signed with the Padres on a 1 year $3 million dollar deal
- If you think the Twins are serious about signing competition for Trevor Plouffe, there is this tweet regarding a mystery AL Central team:
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) December 4, 2012
And of course, these, any many other, Winter Meetings happenings are all nicely chronicled over at MLB Trade Rumors, should you desire to fully immerse yourself in Winter Meetings maddness.
OVERNIGHT UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted overnight that Ben Revere’s name is coming up as a possible trade target. He also speculates that, because they traded Denard Span, the Twins may need a CF in return.
First, if indeed CFs are in high demand right now, the Twins have to be willing to listen when teams call. It wouldn’t be ideal for someone like Aaron Hicks to have to skip AAA and be baptized under fire at the Big League level, but if he can’t hack it Darin Mastroianni could probably fill in at CF until Hicks or someone else steps up.
I’ve always figured Revere was probably a short term bridge in CF to get to Hicks or one of the other stud OFs coming up through the organization. If the Twins think the same thing, then you trade Revere whenever you feel his value is at its highest, even if that is one week after you’ve traded Span.
I think the idea of the Twins needing a CF in return is pure speculation on Morosi’s part. That makes no sense at all. You get the best starting pitcher you can and you don’t take a lesser pitcher in order to get a stopgap CF, as well.
In other Twins news, LaVelle E. Neal III of the StarTribune tells us that the team doesn’t see Ian Stewart as a fit to provide the competition at 3B for Trevor Plouffe. I find that odd. To me, that’s exactly the kind of player that would fit that role. Maybe they just want to push Plouffe, not really threaten him.
Stay tuned… maybe Day 3 will be more exciting than the first two days. Then again, because Zack Greinke’s indecision is keeping the rest of the free agent pitching dominoes from falling, I’m not counting on much for excitement today.