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Twins interested in Jose Contreras?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

1500ESPN’s Patrick Reusse reports that reliever Jose Contreras, who missed almost all of last season with a torn UCL ligament, has been working out in Fort Myers with some key people in the Minnesota Twins’ organization: Cedar Rapids (low-A) hitting coach Tommy Watkins and Tony Oliva.

Contreras, who tore the vital ligament in June of last year and never underwent Tommy John surgery to repair, is interested in playing again. The question is, can his elbow hold up? As Ben Lindbergh discussed in his 2010 piece in Baseball Prospectus, a torn ligament never heals on its own, but there are two methods this can be improved upon without requiring surgery. The first is building up strength in the elbow so the muscles pick up the lack of ligament stability and the second is having scar tissue build up. Of course, by his research, approximately 55% of pitchers who have done some resting and rehabbing for a tear have eventually required Tommy John.

The Cuban pitcher will be 41 years old next year so there’s no reason to go under the knife just to eke out one more season. Prior to the injury, Contreras was still bringing it in his fourth decade on earth, transitioning well to the bullpen in the National League. He averaged 92 on his fastball – and getting hitters to miss at a high frequency (career 9.3% swinging strike rate). On a minor league deal, Contreras, if proven healthy, could add some depth to the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen for a minimal investment.

UPDATE: 1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson inquired with a front office member if the fact that Contreras working with some members of the Twins signified anything and the person said it was "random."

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 johnnydakota

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

1500ESPN’s Patrick Reusse reports that reliever Jose Contreras, who missed almost all of last season with a torn UCL ligament, has been working out in Fort Myers with some key people in the Minnesota Twins’ organization: Cedar Rapids (low-A) manager Tommy Watkins and Tony Oliva.

Contreras, who tore the vital ligament in June of last year and never underwent Tommy John surgery to repair, is interested in playing again. The question is, can his elbow hold up? As Ben Lindbergh discussed in his 2010 piece in Baseball Prospectus, a torn ligament never heals on its own, but there are two methods this can be improved upon without requiring surgery. The first is building up strength in the elbow so the muscles pick up the lack of ligament stability and the second is having scar tissue build up. Of course, by his research, approximately 55% of pitchers who have done some resting and rehabbing for a tear have eventually required Tommy John.

The Cuban pitcher will be 41 years old next year so there’s no reason to go under the knife just to eke out one more season. Prior to the injury, Contreras was still bringing it in his fourth decade on earth, transitioning well to the bullpen in the National League. He averaged 92 on his fastball – and getting hitters to miss at a high frequency (career 9.3% swinging strike rate). On a minor league deal, Contreras, if proven healthy, could add some depth to the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen for a minimal investment.


Um why would the Twins sign a 41 year old sore armed reliever? 1 of the teams strong points should be there bullpen, with the notible exception of the left side...with the team looking to a youth movement why waste time or resources on a player who will not be here when we need him , FREE SLAMA or 1 of the other internal candidates....

#3 Parker Hageman

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

Um why would the Twins sign a 41 year old sore armed reliever? 1 of the teams strong points should be there bullpen, with the notible exception of the left side...with the team looking to a youth movement why waste time or resources on a player who will not be here when we need him , FREE SLAMA or 1 of the other internal candidates....


(1) You can never (EVER) have enough pitching.

(2) It would be a minor league deal.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#4 FrodaddyG

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

(1) You can never (EVER) have enough pitching.

I think you can if the pitching in question is 41. And that's a Cuban 41, which is probably closer to 50.

#5 lightfoot789

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:57 AM

I think you can if the pitching in question is 41. And that's a Cuban 41, which is probably closer to 50.


Not all Cubans lie about their age. But I guess if I could sign a David Ortiz or Miguel Tejada for a $10,000 signing bonus because I could (meaning we hold all the cards) - I would think your way too, about latin players. Make blanket statements like the one you made above....................

#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

With a 40-man roster that is full, and non-roster relief candidates at AAA, it's hard to imagine the scenario where this signing does any good. The upside isn't very large and the odds of achieving that upside are low. But it's hard to see how it does any harm either, and if it gives Rochester a slightly better season then it would not be a deal worth banging a stick on the ground over.

#7 twinsnorth49

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

Not all Cubans lie about their age. But I guess if I could sign a David Ortiz or Miguel Tejada for a $10,000 signing bonus because I could (meaning we hold all the cards) - I would think your way too, about latin players. Make blanket statements like the one you made above....................



What the hell does this even mean????

#8 FrodaddyG

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

What the hell does this even mean????

I think it's what a stroke looks like when it happens mid-sentence.

#9 PseudoSABR

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

I think it's what a stroke looks like when it happens mid-sentence.

He did underline for clarity, to be fair.

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

41? Insane. There are plenty of AAAA starters that could be relievers. Not to mention Slama, Guerra, ans other relievers in the system. What could the possible upside realistically be for this team?

#11 righty8383

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

No, not even a minor league deal. This would be a low risk, no reward deal. Again, not interested

#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

My general thought would be no, they shouldn't sign him. However, before the Tommy John surgery, he was pitching very well, even closing, for the Phillies. On a minor league deal, of course I'd have no problem with bringing him in.

Also, Watkins will be the Cedar Rapids hitting coach. Jake Mauer will manage. Watkins lives in Ft. Myers and is incredibly active at the Twins facilities throughout the offseason.

#13 lightfoot789

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

I'd like to see a thread that rated the minor league coaches per their specialty (Pitching / Hitting). AAA on down

#14 Parker Hageman

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

No, not even a minor league deal. This would be a low risk, no reward deal. Again, not interested


How would this be a "no reward" deal? Essentially, if he's healthy, Contreras winds up as second-level of insurance if arms start to fall apart at the major league level. If he's terrible in spring, he's cut. If he performs well, he hangs around in Rochester as a spare part-insurance policy.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#15 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

Well, it would fit this year's theme of hoping that recently injured players will recover past form/potential and take us to an unanticipated successful season. Maybe we should have kept Baker after all.

Too bad MLB doesn't allow shirt sponsors - we could recruit a local orthopedic firm.

#16 FrodaddyG

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

He did underline for clarity, to be fair.

And he did it because he could!!!

#17 mikeee

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

At least his arm won't blow up as explosively as Joel Zumaya's did.

#18 Boom Boom

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Is Scott Erickson too busy producing movies?

#19 johnnydakota

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

(1) You can never (EVER) have enough pitching.

(2) It would be a minor league deal.


Apperently we had enough pitching to allow Terry to pass on a 98 mph lefty in the rule 5 pick....the Twins could have made a 2nd selection in the 5 draft, but passed on Lara , right now here on planet earth how many lefties can throw 98 mph?
but with Robertson on board we felt we had enough pitching....

The only way this make sense is if Terry is signing Jose in anticipation of adding another cuban and hoping Contreras will be a mentor...

#20 johnnydakota

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

No, not even a minor league deal. This would be a low risk, no reward deal. Again, not interested


Well lets think about it, if by chance Jose makes the twins and in july the angels need a reliever , we could probally get there 42 draft pick from the 1988 draft, i hear he is a mop jockey at 7/11, so at least we would have an assistant for Bill Smith as he makes his annual toilete inspections.



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