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Twins' LHP Andrew Albers' departure and the curse of Jim Rantz

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Today the Minnesota Twins have finalized their agreement with South Korea's Hanwha Eagles, selling LHP Andrew Albers' contract. It is a good move for Albers who will be compensated close to $1 million, while he would have had a hard time cracking the Twins' and potentially even the Red Wings' rotations, after the acquisitions of Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey at the major league level and Kris Johnson and Sean Gilmartin at the minor league level.

Albers was the recipient of the 2013 Jim Rantz award as the Minnesota Twins' minor league pitcher of the year. Since its inception in 2003, only one pitcher who won the award (Kyle Gibson) is still with the Twins and, arguably, bad luck followed every single recipient and in most cases within one year from winning this award?

Is there a curse of Jim Rantz? I am not sure, but here is a list of the recipients and their respective misfortunes. The players who had something happen within a year are listed in bold:

2013: Andrew Albers - Contract Sold to South Korean's Hanwha Eagles 2014
2012: BJ Hermsen - Removed off the 40 man roster 2013
2011: Liam Hendriks - Designated for Assignement 2013
2010: Kyle Gibson - Tommy John Surgery 2011
2009: David Bromberg - Released 2012
2008: Anthony Slama - released 2013
2007: Kevin Slowey - Traded 2011
2006: Matt Garza - Traded 2007
2005: Fransisco Liriano - Tommy John Surgery 2006

2004: Scott Baker - Tommy John Surgery 2012
2003: Jesse Crain - Shoulder Surgery 2007, 2013

Thus, aspiring not to win this award might be something that Twins' prospects should consider.

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  1. The Wise One's Avatar
    I would be more worried about the lack of upside of most of the recent receipients of the award when the won the award. All of the pitchers worked hard to get to where they got. Indeed it may be that for most that one season may be the pinacle of their career.
  2. VandyTwinsFan's Avatar
    Agreed. Since 2007 there hasn't been a single recipient capable of sustained MLB success. No wonder the twins pitching has been the worst in baseball lately. These are our best/most successful minor league pitchers, and 5 of the last 6 are no longer with the team and brought zero return upon departure. Awesome.
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