You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...acement-Part-2
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...acement-Part-2
The top 2 do not make sense because a. of Pierzynski's relationships with his teammates when with the Twins and b. because Salty will be too expensive.
Another catcher that makes sense for the Twins (speaking about framing) is Ryan Hanigan who the Reds are shopping because they just signed Pena to be their back up. He comes from a down season at the plate due to wrist injury, but he can be a great mentor for someone like Pinto and Herrmann.
However, if the Twins get a C from outside the organization, Doumit is all but finished...
I posted about Hanigan on another thread. I think he makes a lot of sense for the 2014 Twins and certainly wouldn't be as sure an out as Drew Butera. He is coming off a bad year, but his lifetime OPS+ is 90, not too bad for a backup catcher.
"and b. because Salty will be too expensive."
Why? They have plenty of money, imo.
It's ok to be week with the bat and strong defensively down the middle (C, SS, CF) if the other positions are strong.
I don't hate the idea of signing Molina. Would be valuable to have in the organization for when a lot of our younger guys start to establish themselves (Meyer and Gibson in '14 and many more beyond)
A.J. has a salty relationship with the Twins. Doubt it. Money can cure all. Might just need to be the guy many players could rally around. He would definitely keep egos in check. I would go for him.
Let's look more so at the Twins line-up need for 2014 if they wish to play a team that can at least approach 81 wins.
First, they need a leadoff batter and #2 hitter. Right now, we see some modest strength in Presley and Dozier in those spots. Hicks still at AAA.
Third belongs to the new 1B, Mauer.
Cleanup is Willingham.
Plouffe, Doumit and Arcia bat 5-7, shuffled as needs sees fit.
Leaves 8 and 9.
I wish we had someone other than Florimon.
I don't doubt that Pinto COULD be the Twins catcher of the future, but starting him right out of the spring training chute may be asking too much. I would rather see him at Rochester for a good portion of the season, working with Meyer and Logan and Dean and Meyer then thrown into the immediate defensive mix of dealing with (hopeful) veteran free agent signings and a staff that is already struggling (Deduno, Diamond, Albers, Hendriks) to find the plate. A bonafide starting vet catcher would add a solid and predictable bat that would fit nicely into the above batting order, which doesn't really look that bad on paper if people have better than their average years. Yes, I would like to see someone other than Doumit (a younger Thome lookalike) and more punch than the slick -- yet error prone -- Florimon at shortstop. I can see Doumit being that strong bench player to go with a spare and speedy outfielder, a solid reserve infielder, and someone else who could play other positions -- wait, we got that guy -- Plouffe...perfect future bench guy.) Let's find a third baseman for stopgap, too. A big comeback by Bartlett at short, a solid 3B, a veteran catcher with either power or ability to put balls in play, and the lineup looks pretty good.
Couple of other names to consider:
Dioner Navarro: If I'm buying a fluky offensive season, I'll take Navarro over Salty.
Kurt Suzuki: Known for working well with young pitchers and calls a great game. Would be a great mentor for our young pitchers/catchers
There is another reason why Molina would be a great fit, at least if the Twins believe Pinto will be with the Twins while finishing his education. Yes, Molina is the great veteran defensive catcher to work with Pinto. But he also is a spanish speaker who could better communicate with the young Latin catcher.
As for the quick turnaround regarding this decision. I expect Terry Ryan has known since August that he needed to get Mauer away from behind the plate. Can't pay one player $23mm and have him miss a good chunk of most seasons and be so beat up other times that he isn't at his best with the bat. But Mr. Ryan is also wise enough to know that it had to be Mauer's decision. Mauer had to be on board if this was going to work. I expect they had several discussions at the end of the season, leading to Joe meeting/discussing this with his and team doctors as well as his bride. In the end, Joe made the decision. But Mr. Ryan led the horse to water!
A free-another catcher is a waste of money and roster. Play Pinto.
We should sign another catcher but it should be a much lower priority. With Buck you know what you're getting and he shouldn't break the bank. Also, why is everybody talking about signing a mentor for Pinto? Mauer is a 3 time gold glover who is just moving to first base. Pretty sure he can mentor Pinto just fine
AJ had good relationships when he was here. Only moron fans boo him.
Looks like the Twins decide that Eric Fryer might be this replacement. At least part time
I'd rather see Pinto 'fail' and hit .250 all year than these guys. Molina is the only different one.
Stuart Turner, 21, finished hist last game at AA-New Britian. It would not surprise me at all if he is called up late in September and will likely be in the discussion for Catcher in 2015 unless he has some major setbacks.
He's the 'defensive specialist' catching wise. Which means he wouldn't have to hit more than .220.
Put the extra millions towards Starting Pitching.
Something to note here sports fans. The Twins don't need to sign a veteran catcher to mentor Pinto. They have one of the greatest catchers of all time on the roster. Remember Joe Mauer? Hello! He moved to first base, he didn't stop being Joe Mauer. So let's put the whole "mentorship" role to bed, that's a non-issue, especially if Pinto starts the season in AAA (where I think he should).
Also, spending money on a catcher does not equate to not spending money on starting pitching. I do not believe there is a 1-to-1 ratio. Let's save some money on catcher so we can spend more on SP. That's hogwash. The Twins have a lot of holes, and while I'd rather they spend money on a SS than a C, spending money to make the team better seems to be a good idea, regardless of position. Maybe you don't think the Twins should spend money this off-season on a catcher because you dont' think the team will be competetive (Thrylos), that's a different argument, one that makes more sense than this "dont spend money on C, we need SP" being thrown around.
And I'm done.
I agree with Twins Best Friend – They don't need a "mentor" for Pinto; they already have one: Joe Mauer. He may not be catching, but that doesn't mean he's lost all of his knowledge and skills. Doumit and Fryer can fill in the rest of the time.
A quality starting pitcher. And a second quality pitcher. That will eat up about $20 million plus. A flyer on a third possible rectifying prospect would be nice and not overly expensive. Now we're what, $25 million or so? That's 2 new quality arms, discussed at length elsewhere and Correia, hopefully Gibson and Deduno and Worley and Diamond and possibly a 3rd signing.
But who do they throw to?
I would love and hope Pinto is a long term answer. Despite some rough edges and some things to learn, all reports on the young man are very positive to his work ethic and arm. The bat looks pretty promising. But is he ready to be that front line guy NOW with no "back up" plan?
If the staff feels he is ready, or mostly so, I love Molina and others, Ruiz, Hernandez and a few others, to back up and share time. It doesn't have to be a Latin catcher but what a great bonus to communicate with Pinto and other talented Latin youngsters on the way up and in.
But I believe Pierzynski is the perfect choice. You still have payroll room for him. He has fire experience, durability and has mostly always been well regarded by his teammates. He also has winning experience and still swings a quality bat. He and Pinto provide opposite side bats w power, short term as well as long term ability and add offense to the lineup from about 6-8 in the lineup depending on the day. They can even play together sharing some DH time.
It simply makes too much sense, and brings too much to the entire makeup of an improving club and roster not to proceed.