Over the past few days, two pitchers that the Twins have been connected to at various points ended up signing with different teams.
Darren Wolfson reported over the weekend that the Twins were interested in Joe Saunders, but the veteran left-hander agreed to terms Tuesday with the Rangers. And Johan Santana, who has of course been linked throughout the offseason to his former club, chose to sign a minor-league deal with big bonuses in Baltimore.
A few fans may have been
Although he was signed to a non-guaranteed minor-league deal, the Twins appear to have big plans for Jason Kubel.
"We brought him over here for a reason," said Ron Gardenhire recently.
That reason is to add a powerful veteran bat to a lineup that ranked 11th in the AL in OPS and 12th in runs scored last year. Kubel has a lengthy track record of slugging success, with six straight seasons of above-average production leading up to 2013, and
When the Twins signed Kurt Suzuki back in December, it looked like they were adding a veteran backup catcher to the roster. After all, Suzuki has hit like a backup over the past four years (.650 OPS), served as a backup with two different clubs last season, and is getting paid like a backup at $2.75 million.
However, folks around camp are talking about the new addition as essentially a lock to open the season as Minnesota's starter behind the plate.
In Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia and Jason Kubel, the Twins have three players who are projected to be on the 25-man roster and are all probably best suited for designated hitter duty.
Each is likely to see some time in that role, but determining which player should be the true "designated DH" is essentially a matter of judging who provides the least defensive value.
Of course, the go-to designated hitter also has to hit enough to justify playing
A year ago, Vance Worley came to camp and impressed coaches enough to earn an Opening Day assignment. The right-hander carried hefty expectations, having been acquired as one of the main pieces in a trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia and left the Twins without a clear center fielder (an quandary that, as Seth discussed yesterday, still persists).
This year, Worley arrives in Ft. Myers under a much different set of circumstances. Following a disastrous first year in Minnesota,