Official Winter Meetings Day 0 Thread
Image courtesy of Melissa Quinn (melissaquinn.blogspot.comUntil the last couple of days, it's fair to say that the Hot Stove has been lukewarm at best. Then Shohei Otani made his decision to sign with the Angels. And on Saturday, the Marlins and Yankees agreed to a deal in which reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton will join Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in The Bronx.
So now, the Hot Stove is preheating. Things are lined up for this to be the busiest Winter Meetings in recent years. Or, we could be set up for disappointment and have to wait even longer.
Let's not forget that the Winter Meetings are set up to actually hold a lot of meetings. Many are with league officials. Some are to determine new rules, or to discuss topics like pace of game and more. While we as fans only want to hear about the meetings between GMs or between teams and agents, the Winter Meetings are much bigger than that.
The Twins offseason has been quiet in terms of transactions. Here's the quick rundown:
- 40-man roster decisions - Several players have been removed from the 40-man roster, and when they were, most were claimed. Niko Goodrum was outrighted, but he became a free agent and left to join the Tigers.
- In the last couple of weeks, the Twins have signed six or seven players to minor league contracts. The most exciting minor league signing to this point is catcher Bobby Wilson.
Brad Steil became the pro scouting director .He hired John Manuel from Baseball America. Former reliever Wesley Wright retired to join the Twins as a scout. There have been changes in the international scouting department.
And they have added several more front office types. Some we have read about. Some have gone under the radar.
And some more positions will continue to be added. The Winter Meetings also is a place where people can go to interview with teams for prospective jobs. Don't be surprised if we keep hearing about additions to the front office.
Also, we learned that Tommy Watkins will be the Chattanooga Lookouts manager in 2018. Toby Gardenhire will take over as the manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels where coaches Brian Dinkelman will remain hitting coach and JP Martinez will remain pitching coach. At a minimum, they still need to hire a manager for the Rochester Red Wings (Mike Quade is taking a roving instructor position) and the Ft. Myers Miracle.
But let's be honest, we want to hear about player acquisitions, right? The Twins made one of the biggest turnarounds in MLB history in 2017. They went from 59 wins in 2016 to 85 wins in 2017. Now the challenge is to find a way to bump that win total up to 92 or so in 2018.
So here's a quick reminder of what the Twins need...
1.) Starting Pitching
2.) Relief Pitching
8.) Maybe a right-handed bench bat
Will the Twins be active in the free agent market? Will they be more active in the trade market?
Likely the answer is Yes in both cases. I tend to think they'll be more active in the trade market as it relates to starting pitching, and I expect they'll be fairly active on the free agent market with relievers.
The asking prices at this point for starting pitchers, at least those top four options (Darvish, Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb) are pretty much silly. But that's just money and a draft pick whereas a trade would cost multiple players.
As for the relievers, there are probably a dozen or more guys who will get three or four years at $7-9 million per year. Plenty of options.
So, will it be disappointing if the Twins don't make a couple of moves this week? Yes. But I think they will.
Will it mean they were not an active participant at the Winter Meetings if they don't finalize a deal? Not at all. I would suspect that they'll be one of the busier teams there in terms of meetings held.
As always, the Winter Meetings presents an opportunity for the meetings, while the actual transactions can take place in the coming weeks.
The Royals are likely to lose free agents Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, or at least a couple of them. There are rumors that Danny Duffy is available. You' have to assume that Alex Gordon and probably Ian Kennedy are guys they'd love to trade, but there likely won't be much market for them. The Royals may be in full rebuild mode.
The White Sox acknowledged that they were rebuilding a year ago when they traded Adam Eaton and Chris Sale for a huge supply of top-end prospects. They continued that in-season with trades of David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Jose Quintana for more prospects. Is Jose Abreu on the market? Probably, and anyone else on that roster who costs more than a couple million dollars might be too.
The Tigers are an interesting group. They made some trades during the 2017 season, including getting rid of JD Martinez and Justin Verlander. Rumors are that teams are calling on Ian Kinsler. They likely want to continue to push a rebuild. Ron Gardenhire was hired as their manager. He stole Joe Vavra from the Twins and named him their quality control coach. Steve Liddle (bench coach) and Rick Anderson (bullpen coach) are also on his staff.
Cleveland got to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. In 2017, they lost to the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. They have good starting pitchers. They have a strong bullpen. They've got a good offense. But Carlos Santana and Bryan Shaw are free agents, and I would think they would want both back. They will likely remain busy.
Rule 5 Draft
Finally, the Rule 5 draft will take place on Thursday morning. The Twins have the potential to lose a couple of players. Nick Burdi and Jake Reed would seem most likely candidates to be lost while Luke Bard and Kohl Stewart could also be lost.
The Twins 40-man roster is still at 36, so they could add a player in the Rule 5 draftif they choose to.
Enjoy the week. Click refresh here at Twins Daily often. As noted, we'll be sure to post articles of any moves that the Twins make. Later, you can expect to learn more about any players and/or prospects that the Twins may acquire. If you haven't already registered, be sure to do so and add your thoughts to these articles and rumors.