Getting an extra year of control obviously should matter to a team that won't even spend over $4 million to offer to Marcum. There is also no reason to rush Hicks without first seeing AAA pitching. Skipping levels, in my view, is dumb. Very dumb.
Point is that the Twins are better served, since they bothered with Correia instead of Marcum (which is just ****ing absurd and a half) and don't seem to care at all about making a real decision to either commit to a sub-75 win season or hope for it (not trading Morneau), by not "Revering" or "Parmeleeing" or "Doziering" Hicks right now. I do see value in AAA experience (and I would have hoped for a bit of that to have come in 2012 for Hicks). Mastroianni and Boggs works for me for a month or two. It should for everyone. Let Jamey Carroll bat leadoff (with Mauer second, obviously).
And I swear if I hear one more thing about Carroll's 2014 option for $2 million, I may go crazy. Look at what Nick Punto stole from this team . . .
It's still January wait 2 months and then decide.
Experience at AAA is overrated, all rookies will have to prove and verify at the MLB level anyway. It is also very true that delaying Hicks does "extend team control" and that there is financial gain--for the Twins (not we fans!). However, my slant is to have Mastroianni be the starting CF in hopes that he can produce a rather successful season--OBP, steals, runs scored, and defense--so he could be traded for the largesse received from the Span/Revere trades. Darin is likely a darn good guy and good ballplayer, but clearly he is not considered the long term solution at CF. 4th OF are easily found (often from within), and they garner little when traded. But, If Mastroianni could be "packaged" as a starting CF, quality, young, and with years of team control, I'm convinced that the Twins could really help themself. After all, it worked with Revere, why not Mastroianni?--and the "risk" is zero.
If he is good enough in spring start him at the big league level. If he struggles they can send him down for more seasoning rendering this whole service time issue moot. If he is good enough to stay up the whole year the Twins would sign him to an extension long before he hits free agency.
People whine and gnash teeth about sending guys down after they have been up and how that is messing their development but the hysteria here is vastly overblown. Most players have to take some lumps in the bigs, go back to AAA to work on adjustments and then come back much better.