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Fire Dan Gladden

A Look At Our Old Friends

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At the end of 2011, the Twins had some choices to make on a handful of players. Some they released, others the chose not to sign, others they did resign. Lets take a look at how those decisions have fared out so far, along with the players brought in to replace those that left:

Michael Cuddyer - left via free agency
Replaced by Josh Willingham
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Willingham 28 114 96 16 30 9 1 7 18 1 0 13 22 .313 .421 .646 1.067 193
Cuddyer 30 121 109 18 31 9 1 3 19 3 1 11 26 .284 .347 .468 .815 108

The signing at the time revolved around 2 primary issues: Cuddyer's ability to play multiple positions, and the dollar differences in the contract (Cuddyer signed for 3 yrs/$33 mil, Willingham for 3 yrs/$21 mil). I don't believe the Twins were worried about losing the Cuddyer flexibility with Mauer getting more reps at 1B. Their greater concern was making sure they had an effective right-handed bat in the outfield. Cuddyer has been decent for the Rockies, but Willingham has been everything and then some for the Twins. He is out pacing Cuddyer in virtually every category, while providing outfield defense that is no worse than what Cuddyer brought to the table. Willingham is one of the few bright spots for the the team thus far. Factor in the contract and it looks even better.

Good decision? Yes


Joe Nathan - Left via free agency
Twins chose to resign Matt Capps
W L ERA G GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9
Capps 0 1 4.09 11 11 5 11 9 5 5 2 1 6 102 0.909 7.4 0.8 4.9
Nathan 0 2 2.84 13 13 7 12.2 12 5 4 1 2 14 157 1.105 8.5 1.4 9.9

Joe Nathan never gave the Twins the chance to resign him, taking a 3 yr/#23 mil contract from Texas without giving the Twins a chance to reply. The Capps signing (1 yr/$4.5 mil with $6 mill TO) was not met well in Twins land and Capps' performance thus far has not merited a change in that opinion. Nathan had a bad outing early, but has been very strong for the Rangers as of late. While the Twins would love to have Nathan back, the contract dollars for a closer coming off surgery were not merited from a last-place team. Capps has been barely tolerable, but the signing will look worse if they pick up the option.

Good decision? Yes (but only because the Twins are not currently a winning team)


Jason Kubel - Left via free agency
Twins signed Ryan Doumit
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Doumit 27 101 92 10 22 3 1 4 17 0 0 6 18 .239 .277 .424 .701 93
Kubel 29 119 105 9 29 6 0 3 12 1 0 14 31 .276 .361 .419 .780 112

Kubel signed a 3 yr/$25 M contract with Arizona. The Twins never really made a run at him, choosing instead to sign Doumit to a 1 yr/$3 mil contract. Doumit's ability to play catcher was a big reason in this decision, with Kubel essentially being a DH with some outfield capabilities. While Kubel has been slightly better offensively, his price tag never fit in with the Twins immediate future. Doumit has produced as expected, and has allowed Mauer to play some extended 1B. Doumit could be considered a candidate to be a part of this team for the future.

Good decision? Yes


Matt Tolbert left via free agency
Twins replaced with Jamey Carroll
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Carroll 30 127 110 14 24 5 0 0 7 3 2 14 14 .218 .312 .264 .576 64
Tolbert No major league stats

Matt Tolbert was allowed to leave, after which he signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. Nothing missed with Tolbert leaving. Carroll signed a 2 yr/$6.5 mil contract to become the Twins full time shortstop. While maybe not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, Carroll seems to be a better fit as the UI, than a full-time SS. Offensively his numbers are down so far, but he has been better than advertised defensively. Carroll's ability to play multiple infield positions while bringing some veteran leadership to the infield makes this signing look good so far.

Good decision? Yes


Kevin Slowey was traded to the Colorado Rockies in December after the Twins decided they did not want to pay Slowey in arbitration. Slowey was subsequently traded to the Indians, where he was unable to make their roster out of spring training. His current ERA or 5.89, along with a WHIP of 1.49, at AAA is making this trade look pretty good about now considering the Slowey's 2012 salary is $2.75 mil.

Good decision? Yes


Considering the current state of the Twins, it's hard to say that the Twins made shrewd moves during the off-season. Their pitching staff is in shambles, and they are coming off a historic string of offensive ineptitude. But on a case by case basis, they Twins made decisions that are currently showing to be improvements over last year. That being said, they still have many holes to fill for the future and these small upgrades, while helpful and necessary, will not vault them back to respectability
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Comments

  1. Top Gun's Avatar
    Bull **** story.
  2. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
    RE: Top Gun

    I feel sorry for you that the best you could come up with was abusive language for your comment.
  3. OldManWinter's Avatar
    Interesting perspective.
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