Catching Up In A Stream Of Consciousness
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA TodayIn the last couple of weeks, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have been busy and things are about to get even busier.
As we discussed yesterday, the Twins have until Friday night to offer arbitration to five players (Hector Santiago, Kyle Gibson, Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Pressly, and Eduardo Escobar). Be sure to stop by throughout the day to find out if any players were not tendered a contract.
Two days after introducing Michael Cuddyer, LaTroy Hawkins and Torii Hunter as new Special Assistants to Baseball Operations, the Twins made official their signing of catcher Jason Castro. The three year, $24.5 million deal is the largest free agent contract handed out to a new Twins position player.
In Wednesday's press conference, Derek Falvey acknowledged that Castro was "identified early on as an important target for us this offseason. He was somebody that we talked about from Day 1."
On Thursday, George King of the New York Post tweeted the following:
Rowson is apparently a very respected hitting man. He comes from the Yankees organization, but he held similar titles recently in the Cubs system too. You can learn more about him in the discussion on this forum.
Now all the Twins need is a first base coach. They will likely want someone who can also work with outfielders, or the catchers.
That said, news came out in the last couple of days that former Twins GM Terry Ryan has accepted a job as a Special Assignment scout with the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryan, of course, has been in the organization going back to 1986, 30 years.
Likewise, former GM Bill Smith, who also has given over 30 years of service time to the Twins organization, was informed recently that his job with the Twins will be over in January when his contract is complete.
The Winter Meetings officially start on Monday in Washington, DC, but teams will start arriving there on Sunday afternoon. As always, there will be a ton of rumors, this GM talking to that GM or that agent, and we’ll hear a bunch of them. However, it’s always a good reminder that these meetings are actually designed to have many meetings set up, official meetings, to discuss the business of baseball. College students will be there, hoping to get an interview and latch on with an organization. Big league, minor league (affiliated or independent) will be there. But it’s those side meetings that will garner the most attention.
Brian Dozier will certainly be Topic #1 for the Twins rumor mill over the coming week. Will Falvey-Levine find a taker for the second baseman who hit 42 home runs a year ago? Will there actually be a trade?
And, if Dozier is traded, does that mean that Jorge Polanco moves to second base? Would the Twins then be in the market for a shortstop at the Winter Meetings?
But then, it all comes down to pitching. What will the new regime’s strategy be to bring in high-end pitching? How much can they get for Brian Dozier, but also will they be active in other trades? WIll they be active in free agency? Are there even starters to find in free agency?
What about the bullpen? Will they look to add more bullpen arms? Will they choose to push some of the young flame-throwers?
It’s going to be an interesting week, and I would venture to guess that with their new roles, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will be among the most popular COB/GM combos for agents and executives alike to talk to.
What if the Twins don’t actually make a Dozier trade or other moves during the Winter Meetings? I mean, this is one week in early December and there will be plenty of talent available next week, or the week after, or into January. So, it’s not a big deal. But the Winter Meetings provide the opportunity for in-person meetings to set the tone for deals, now, or in the near future.
Also, next Thursday, the final day of the Winter Meetings, will be the Rule 5 draft. The Twins will have the first pick. With the Castro signing, they are currently at 40 men on their 40-man roster. They will either have to make a move next week to make room, or DFA someone to make room, if they want to make a pick.
Maybe the best, big picture news this week was that there was a new Collective Bargaining Agreement finalized a day before the old one expired. There is a lot in our forums about the new CBA, so be sure to read more if you are interested.
Here are a few more topics from our forums that you may enjoy contributing to:
- News came out last weekend that lefty Pat Dean, who the Twins DFAd last month, has signed with the KIA Tigers in Korea. He recently returned from Korea where he signed the deal.
- Adam Brett Walker, who was removed from the 40 man roster two weeks ago and claimed by his hometown Milwaukee Brewers, was DFAd by the Brewers this week. It will be interesting to see if he clears and stays in the Brewers organization, or if he is claimed by yet another team. The DFA/Limbo cycle can really stink.
- Logan Schafer signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. Chris Parmelee signed with the Oakland A’s. Dan Runzler signed with the Pirates.
- Brandon Warne gave report cards to all 40 members of the Twins 40-man roster in 2016. Find them all here.
- In the last week or so, we have had Q&As with several Twins minor leaguers including Travis Blankenhorn, Shane Carrier, and Jordan Balazovic. We’ve got more lined up as well.
- It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s #1 overall pick in the draft. Baseball America released its Top 100 High School kids this week. Sam Carlson, a 6-4 right-hander from Burnsville who is committed to Florida is on the list.
- Be sure to check out our sister sites, Vikings Journal and Wild Xtra as well.
Feel free to discuss anything in the comments below, and check out our forums for many more topics.
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