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Article: Official Winter Meetings: Sunday Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:11 PM
The Winter Meetings are set to begin later today in Washington D.C. No time during the year, with the exception (maybe) of the July trade...
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Article: Dozier Trade Talk Heating Up?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:27 PM
If history is any indication, then our likelihood of seeing the first trade executed by Minnesota's reconfigured front office within the...
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Twins Hall of Fame Vote

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:19 PM
The Twins have announced that you can again vote for the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. Last year, Torii Hunter and John Gordon were added...
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Article: Catching Up In A Stream Of Consciousness

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:53 AM
On Sunday afternoon, executives from all of the major league teams will descend upon our nation's capital for the annual Winter Meetings....
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Article: Get To Know: Twins LHP Bo Hellquist

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:51 AM
Bo Hellquist grew up in Savage and went to Burnsville High School where he helped his team to a state championship. The left-hander went...
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Official Winter Meetings: Sunday Thread

The Winter Meetings are set to begin later today in Washington D.C. No time during the year, with the exception (maybe) of the July trade deadline, are there more rumors. Some are real. Some are baseless. But it is a fun time of the year for baseball fans.

Each day, we'll have an official thread for the day. Use this as an area to discuss any rumors you hear or read, or a place to mention transactions as they happen. Obviously if (or when) the Twins make any transactions, we'll have a full article on it, but this is a good place to discuss moves and rumors from around the league. Be sure to check back frequently.

Let's get to the rumors:


Get To Know: Twins LHP Bo Hellquist

Bo Hellquist grew up in Savage and went to Burnsville High School where he helped his team to a state championship. The left-hander went to the University of Minnesota, in Duluth, where he was a two-way player until he began to focus solely on pitching. He was the Opening Night starter for the Duluth Huskies of the summer, college Northwoods League. UMD had an incredible 2016 season, and Bo Hellquist was a big part of it, posting a 7-2 record. However, he went undrafted. It wasn’t long after the draft the Hellquist got a call from the Twins. He spent the summer in Ft. Myers, pitching about once a week for the GCL Twins.

Today, we are pleased that Hellquist was willing to take time to answer some questions for Twins Daily on his path to the Twins organization .It gives us an opportunity to Get to Know the left-hander. Feel free to ask questions and comments below.


Catching Up In A Stream Of Consciousness

On Sunday afternoon, executives from all of the major league teams will descend upon our nation's capital for the annual Winter Meetings. It is just one, four-day stretch in the middle of the Hot Stove season, but it is a busy time for transactions.

The Twins go into the meetings with some questions and some things that need to be done. Some moves have already been made. Some are part of the bigger picture and some are short-term issues.

Today, I'm going to just start typing and see where it goes. I'll cover several topics from the past week and some things to consider as the team heads to the Winter Meetings.


Get To Know: RHP Jordan Balazovic

Jordan Balazovic was one of the youngest players selected in the 2016 MLB draft when the Twins used their fifth-round pick in the right-handed pitcher. The youngster from the suburbs of Toronto is likely several years from potentially getting to the big leagues, but he is going to be one to watch in coming years. In September, I ranked him as my #38 Twins prospect, and frankly, after several conversations I will likely rank him higher in the 2017 Twins Prospect Handbook. Already 6-4, Balazovic has plenty of room to grow and gain strength. He only turned 18 after the season concluded.


As The Defense Goes, So Goes The Twins

The first big addition of the Derek Falvey era was done in design to improve the team's defense, an area that had gone serially overlooked in recent years. Let's hope the defensive upgrades continue, as there has been a strong correlation between team defense and success for the Twins.

Take a look through the more than 220 comments on Parker's article and it becomes obvious there is not a consensus among Twins Daily readers on whether or not it was wise to sign Jason Castro to a three-year, $24.5 million deal. Only time will tell, but an upgrade at catcher, particularly in terms of defense, was a huge need. It's a good start, as Nick noted, but there are still plenty of areas of improvement. And it's worth noting that defense has been a huge factor in the team's successes and failures over the years.


Arbitration Decisions Looming

December is upon us. If you’re from the Upper Midwest, you have recently felt winter’s wrath. Some have had more snow than others. Some have had freezing rain. And temperatures have finally fallen. The calendar has changed. Baseball’s Hot Stove is upon us.

December 1st was the deadline for reaching a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. On Wednesday evening, news came out that the players and the owners had reached an agreement on a new, five-year deal. There has not been a work stoppage in MLB since games resumed early in the 1995 season. It’s good to know it’s not something we need to worry about again until (at least) after the 2021 season.

On Sunday night, executives from nearly all of the professional baseball teams - Major League, Minor League, Independent teams and more - will head to Houston. On Monday, baseball’s annual Winter Meetings will commence. You’ll definitely want to keep up with Twins Daily for any trade rumors or transactions. And you’ll want to familiarize yourself with our Free Agent Tracker.


Above and Beyond: Creatively Improving Run Prevention

Derek Falvey has inherited an organization that allowed the most runs in the American League. Hopefully he is a person who enjoys a good challenge.

The Twins hired Falvey, in part, because he was analytically inclined and also carried a reputation as a pitching hawk while with Cleveland, two significant deficiencies of the previous regime. Although Jack Goin has done a good job establishing the analytics department it seemed obvious that the growth of that department was handcuffed by budgets and the prior leadership’s skeptical view toward the data. With Falvey in charge, he might be able to give Goin’s team the necessary support to take full advantage of the science of baseball.

Falvey’s vision for his team may already include something similar to what these two clubs have been doing. However, in terms of improving run prevention, both short-term and long-term, the Twins may want to consider creating at least two new positions.


Twins New Front Office Off To Strong Start

Less than three weeks after being formally introduced in a press conference at Target Field, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made their first major acquisition as heads of the Minnesota Twins baseball department.

The Jason Castro signing was a bold stroke from the new front office, and one that sends some very positive signals regarding what we can expect from this new era of leadership.


Bringing Back The Band... And That's Just Fine

On Monday morning, the Minnesota Twins made it official that Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins were coming back to the organization. No, they aren’t going to come out of retirement. Though all three could probably still contribute in some way on the field, they are going to attempt to help the Twins off the field and in the front office.

I’m not sure when the “bringing back the gang” saying became a negative thing. I believe it was when the Twins decided to bring back Jason Kubel and Matt Guerrier on minor league deals before the 2014 season. Both were veterans who had solid MLB careers but were both coming off of injuries. The Twins took a chance on both, hoping they might be back at 100% and able to contribute. In both cases, it really didn’t work.

A year later, the Twins brought Torii Hunter back for one more season. He had his ups and downs on the field that season, but few can question the impact he had in the clubhouse, even if you struggle to believe in the value of veteran leadership.

The negative tone some chose to take for such signings went to a ridiculous level in the last year or so. When the Twins were looking to hire a manager, some didn’t want Paul Molitor. Maybe those people were right, but if the reasoning was because of his previous time with the Twins, then that just isn’t right.

Even worse, Chip Hale was also considered a candidate early in the process. Some didn’t like that because he played for the Twins, about 20 years ago. Or, when the Twins were looking for a pitching coach two years ago, some said that Frank Viola shouldn’t be considered because he played for the organization, 25 years ago. Forget that he helped develop the likes of Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the like.

How about when the Twins were looking for a new GM (which became a new GM and Chief Baseball Operator)? I remember reading somewhere that the Twins probably shouldn’t consider someone like Randy Bush because he played for the Twins for several years in the 1980s and was on two championship teams. It would be Bringing Back The Gang, right? Again, ignore the fact that he hasn’t played in the organization for 25 years, and he’s not only coached in college but has been an assistant GM with the Cubs since long before the Theo Epstein reign began.


Dozier Trade Talk Heating Up?

If history is any indication, then our likelihood of seeing the first trade executed by Minnesota's reconfigured front office within the next couple of weeks is pretty good.

So let's sift through the latest rumors and rumblings.


Gleeman & The Geek, Ep 285: Jason Castro

Aaron and John talk about the Minnesota Twins agreement with Jason Castro and debate Aaron's level of Thanksgiving spirit. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below.


Twins Winter League Report (through 11/26)

Hopefully everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, and maybe even a long weekend from work. We are back here with our weekly Twins Winter League Report. We waited until Sunday this week so that we would have the complete weekend of games in Australia, including Sunday afternoon games (Saturday evening in the States).

In some other Winter League and International news, Mike Berardino wrote that Miguel Sano would not be playing in the Dominican Winter League. Instead, he will be working out in the hopes of playing in the WBC.

While not Winter League news "Dan KBO" tweeted that lefty Pat Dean has signed with the KIA Tigers in the KBO for 2017. The deal is believed to be for $900,000.