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  1. The Minnesota Twins need to address the bullpen at the MLB trade deadline. What kind of a trade can they make? The Chicago Cubs have a few attractive relief arms but expect there to be plenty of competition. We may see more demand than supply when it comes to bullpen pieces this deadline. MLB.com writers put together a mock trade that has both David Roberston and Scott Effross coming to Minnesota but the price is high. Let me know what you think about this deal. View full video
  2. The Minnesota Twins need to address the bullpen at the MLB trade deadline. What kind of a trade can they make? The Chicago Cubs have a few attractive relief arms but expect there to be plenty of competition. We may see more demand than supply when it comes to bullpen pieces this deadline. MLB.com writers put together a mock trade that has both David Roberston and Scott Effross coming to Minnesota but the price is high. Let me know what you think about this deal.
  3. The Cubs didn't even feign an attempt at contention this year, so they're right where they expected to be. In the cellar, and acting as sellers. So who's available? The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect. View full article
  4. The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect.
  5. Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: this is not a pre-emptive defense of the team if they fail to make a big splash; anyone who implies so in the comments will have their thinking privileges taken away. Pointing out the challenges of navigating the trade deadline in 2022 is not equal to offering consent for possible inaction. When we speak of trading for a player, it’s easy to allude vaguely to quality players, veterans on poor teams begging to find a more successful franchise to aid with their incredible skills. We look to the Nether, or the Upside-Down, and claim that Capable Reliever is sitting there, moping around on Bad Team, waiting for a Better Franchise to scoop them up. Yes, players like that exist on losing teams, but they must be specifically identified, not nebulously referred to. Finding that player is going to be harder this season; the extra wild card playoff spot ensures that the typical suspects—the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Dodgers—will have company as teams who otherwise never had a chance—those sitting around .500 looking at the third wild card spot—are now likely to enter the negotiation table as a buyer. It may not seem like a significant calculus change, but 17 teams either claim a playoff spot or sit no further than three games away from one; that’s a lopsided field. At the deadline in 2021, there were only 12 such franchises. Most teams in MLB should legitimately enter into trade negotiations, shooting up the value of the few coveted players on bad teams. It’s double jeopardy; each franchise that doesn’t sell will likely become one to buy. In a pool of 30 teams, each minor shift could drastically alter the deadline’s power balance. The Twins are in a bad spot for another reason: they’re basic. What pieces do they need the most? Starting and relief pitchers. What players do most buyers need every year? Starting and relief pitchers. When 10 teams want Tyler Mahle as well, you will have to part with much better prospects than you anticipated to deal; if the team plays as conservative as they have under this regime at past deadlines, they’ll end up with some bubblegum and a Wade Boggs rookie card. The aforementioned Mahle, Frankie Montas, and Luis Castillo; relievers like David Robertson, Scott Effross, and David Bednar; such players will be involved in enormous bidding wars, more so than usual. The Twins could easily find themselves with S*m D*s*n 2.0 if they are too careful. All of this—the messy trade deadline combined with a team needing reinforcements and a Carlos Correa contract drama that this article didn’t even touch on—must force the Twins’ hand and move them away from conservatism. If they repeat their strategy in 2019 and avoid pushing beyond comfort for the big splash, they’ll have no chance at acquiring the player talent they need; other teams will overwhelm them with competitive offers. Will it happen? The front office proved capable of some genuinely chaotic moves when they dealt their recent first-round pick for Sonny Gray, then shocked baseball by swiping Carlos Correa up in free agency; signing Josh Donaldson and dealing a top prospect in Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda broke the mold as well. They may be working on an absurd deal as we wait. Until that trade bursts through to the public through a Jeff Passan tweet, we can only imagine the deals teams are discussing. The extra few legitimate buyers could alter the negotiations, upsetting the dynamic by limiting who is available to franchises looking to win. The Twins will need to continue acting aggressively, remembering that prospects often bust while flags fly forever.
  6. Recently, there has been one consistent chorus amongst Twins fans, sung with such coordination that they could adequately back up on a Queen track: “when the Twins add at the deadline…” Indeed, even this author has dabbled in assuming this, but finding a proper trade may be a trickier proposition than we think. Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: this is not a pre-emptive defense of the team if they fail to make a big splash; anyone who implies so in the comments will have their thinking privileges taken away. Pointing out the challenges of navigating the trade deadline in 2022 is not equal to offering consent for possible inaction. When we speak of trading for a player, it’s easy to allude vaguely to quality players, veterans on poor teams begging to find a more successful franchise to aid with their incredible skills. We look to the Nether, or the Upside-Down, and claim that Capable Reliever is sitting there, moping around on Bad Team, waiting for a Better Franchise to scoop them up. Yes, players like that exist on losing teams, but they must be specifically identified, not nebulously referred to. Finding that player is going to be harder this season; the extra wild card playoff spot ensures that the typical suspects—the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Dodgers—will have company as teams who otherwise never had a chance—those sitting around .500 looking at the third wild card spot—are now likely to enter the negotiation table as a buyer. It may not seem like a significant calculus change, but 17 teams either claim a playoff spot or sit no further than three games away from one; that’s a lopsided field. At the deadline in 2021, there were only 12 such franchises. Most teams in MLB should legitimately enter into trade negotiations, shooting up the value of the few coveted players on bad teams. It’s double jeopardy; each franchise that doesn’t sell will likely become one to buy. In a pool of 30 teams, each minor shift could drastically alter the deadline’s power balance. The Twins are in a bad spot for another reason: they’re basic. What pieces do they need the most? Starting and relief pitchers. What players do most buyers need every year? Starting and relief pitchers. When 10 teams want Tyler Mahle as well, you will have to part with much better prospects than you anticipated to deal; if the team plays as conservative as they have under this regime at past deadlines, they’ll end up with some bubblegum and a Wade Boggs rookie card. The aforementioned Mahle, Frankie Montas, and Luis Castillo; relievers like David Robertson, Scott Effross, and David Bednar; such players will be involved in enormous bidding wars, more so than usual. The Twins could easily find themselves with S*m D*s*n 2.0 if they are too careful. All of this—the messy trade deadline combined with a team needing reinforcements and a Carlos Correa contract drama that this article didn’t even touch on—must force the Twins’ hand and move them away from conservatism. If they repeat their strategy in 2019 and avoid pushing beyond comfort for the big splash, they’ll have no chance at acquiring the player talent they need; other teams will overwhelm them with competitive offers. Will it happen? The front office proved capable of some genuinely chaotic moves when they dealt their recent first-round pick for Sonny Gray, then shocked baseball by swiping Carlos Correa up in free agency; signing Josh Donaldson and dealing a top prospect in Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda broke the mold as well. They may be working on an absurd deal as we wait. Until that trade bursts through to the public through a Jeff Passan tweet, we can only imagine the deals teams are discussing. The extra few legitimate buyers could alter the negotiations, upsetting the dynamic by limiting who is available to franchises looking to win. The Twins will need to continue acting aggressively, remembering that prospects often bust while flags fly forever. View full article
  7. This is an excerpt from an article that appears at Zone Coverage; click here to read it in full. The celebratory alcohol is barely dry on the shirts handed out to the Boston Red Sox after winning the World Series on Sunday night, but in a news cycle that never sleeps, we’re already moving onto the 2019 season via offseason moves. The Minnesota Twins are facing a pivotal offseason. The brain trust of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have overseen a swinging pendulum so far through two seasons, and are coming off a big hire in new manager Rocco Baldelli late last week. How will they attack an offseason with ample cash to spend, a few big holes on the roster and a handful of youngsters with plenty to prove at this level? Well, here’s what I’d do: Arbitration Decisions (numbers from Matt Swartz, MLB Trade Rumors) Jake Odorizzi - $9.4 million (tender) Kyle Gibson - $7.9 million (tender) Eddie Rosario - $5.0 million (tender) Robbie Grossman - $4.0 million (non-tender) Max Kepler - $3.2 million (tender) Miguel Sano - $3.1 million (tender) Ehire Adrianza - $1.8 million (tender) Taylor Rogers - $1.6 million (tender) Byron Buxton - $1.2 million (tender) Trevor May - $1.1 million (tender) Most of these are pretty easy. I have no gripes with Grossman -- he’s plenty useful from an on-base and pinch-hitting standpoint -- but I think the Twins can go younger, cheaper and more defensively able in the outfield with Jake Cave, Johnny Field or even Zack Granite. Free-Agent Signings C Yasmani Grandal - four years, $80 million 2B Jed Lowrie - two years, $16 million IF Daniel Descalso - two years, $10 million RP David Robertson - two years, $22 million RP Cody Allen - one year, $8 million (plus incentives)
  8. The Winter Meetings are often a place where there is a lot of talking, but there aren't necessarily a lot of transactions. That was the case Monday, but a lot of the talk centered around the American League Central. Here's the rundown from Monday as we look forward to Tuesday at the Winter Meetings when we expect some of these talks to turn into official transactions. The big talker from Monday was the Chicago White Sox. It appears they are going into full rebuild mold. It looks like they are attempting to follow the plan of the cross-town Cubs. Names like Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton and others could be on the move. However, the Chris Sale rumors really heated up on Monday night. It was reported that the Nationals and White Sox are a long way down the path toward a deal that would involve Chris Sale. The White Sox would likely receive elite pitching prospect Lucas Giolito and top outfield prospect Victor Robles, and maybe more. The Nationals appear resigned to the fact that in two years Bryce Harper will leave for major money as a free agent, so they are going to go for it. A rotation with Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg at the top of it would give the Nationals a real shot. With Mark Melancon signing a four-year, $62 million deal to be the Giants closer on Monday, the market for top closers has been set. Aroldis Chapman is said to be looking for six years (though I can't imagine him getting it). Kenley Jansen is going to also get huge money, likely from either the Marlins or the Dodgers. With that as the backdrop, the White Sox should certainly look to deal their closer, David Robertson. He's signed at a fair price for the next two years, and if the White Sox are selling, they don't really need an elite closer. Also last night, rumors came out that Cleveland was very much in on former Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Despite getting to the World Series, Cleveland didn't have many elite hitters. They had several very good hitters, but Encarnacion would give them an elite bat in the middle to team with Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana to give them a very good lineup to go with their very good pitching staff. They would not only be the favorites in the American League Central, but a favorite to return to the World Series. The Royals certainly are making it known that they need to sell off some of their top talent. It appears they are making attempts to deal outfielder Lorenzo Cain. As Brandon Warne often says, Cain can provide young Torii Hunter defense while providing veteran Torii Hunter offensive production. He was hurt some in 2016, and his defense will soon start to go in the other direction so now is the time to deal him. Back to the closer discussion, the Royals are also said to be dangling Wade Davis. Davis was hurt in the second half of 2016, but he could command a huge return. The Cubs are said to be interested. Jorge Soler's name has been mentioned though I would think that the Cubs would have to add at least one, and maybe two, more pieces. DAILY DOZIER UPDATE Dozier appeared on MLB radio, and Derek Falvey was on earlier on Monday. Both were certainly saying the right things, especially when meeting with local Twin Cities media. Dozier made it clear that he would like to be part of the solution in Minnesota. He's invested a lot of time, work and passion into becoming a great player with the Twins. He wants to stay. But at the same time, he is intrigued by the rumors and says he has paid attention. He wants to win. He wants to be loyal. And he understands the business side of the game in which a 100-loss team needs to add as much talent as they can, even if it means difficult decisions. For his part, Falvey is saying the right things too, which isn't easy. He isn't flat-out lying and saying that nothing's going to happen. He talks about the respect that Dozier has earned and deserves, but he does so while clearly getting a lot of interest from teams on the second baseman. There wasn't a lot of new information on Monday. Jon Heyman pointed out that he learned the Yankees have inquired about Dozier. It's good to hear some specific names of other teams, even if just to let the Dodgers think that they need to up their offer if they really want to acquire Dozier. The Yankees added a lot of talent last summer from their trades of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Certainly Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge would likely be unavailable. But would pitching prospects like Luis Severino or lefty Justus Sheffield be available? Sheffield is the brother of Jordan Sheffield whose name has been mentioned as a possible return from the Dodgers. James Kaprelian is another pitching prospect of note. Clint Frazier is their top prospect, according to MLB.com. He came to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal and played in AAA the second half of the year. The Twins like their talented outfielders from Georgia high schools! An outfield of Kepler, Buxton and Frazier would sure be fun to watch grow! Gleyber Torres came from the Cubs in the Chapman deal. The shortstop was one of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League and is a top shortstop prospect in the game, ranking even higher than Nick Gordon. A middle infield down the line of Torres and Gordon would sure be nice. They both would start 2017 in AA Chattanooga. This is likely just wishful thinking as I doubt Torres is be available. Let's be honest. Outside of Brian Dozier talk and rumors, things have been very quiet on the Twins front, as it has been throughout baseball through one official day of Winter Meetings will that change on Tuesday? Here's the question for you to discuss and answer in the comments below - along with discussing other rumors of the day - In your opinion, what are the odds that the Twins trade Brian Dozier a.) before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, or b.) this offseason? Discuss below, and take the Twins Daily Twitter survey by clicking below. https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/806099111715999744
  9. Brian Dozier came to town on Monday. The power-hitting second baseman was in DC at the Winter Meetings for a marketing, promotional event for Under Armour. However, with his name mentioned in all kinds of trade rumors, it certainly brought about reason for more talk. But on Monday it appears it was all talk for the Twins new front office, and throughout baseball. There weren't any major transactions announced on Monday, but there was plenty of talk, and much of it was in the American League Central. As always use this thread to share rumors and transactions throughout the day as you hear new information. Of course, if the Twins do make a transaction, we'll post that in an article as quickly as we can.The Winter Meetings are often a place where there is a lot of talking, but there aren't necessarily a lot of transactions. That was the case Monday, but a lot of the talk centered around the American League Central. Here's the rundown from Monday as we look forward to Tuesday at the Winter Meetings when we expect some of these talks to turn into official transactions. The big talker from Monday was the Chicago White Sox. It appears they are going into full rebuild mold. It looks like they are attempting to follow the plan of the cross-town Cubs. Names like Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton and others could be on the move. However, the Chris Sale rumors really heated up on Monday night. It was reported that the Nationals and White Sox are a long way down the path toward a deal that would involve Chris Sale. The White Sox would likely receive elite pitching prospect Lucas Giolito and top outfield prospect Victor Robles, and maybe more. The Nationals appear resigned to the fact that in two years Bryce Harper will leave for major money as a free agent, so they are going to go for it. A rotation with Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg at the top of it would give the Nationals a real shot. With Mark Melancon signing a four-year, $62 million deal to be the Giants closer on Monday, the market for top closers has been set. Aroldis Chapman is said to be looking for six years (though I can't imagine him getting it). Kenley Jansen is going to also get huge money, likely from either the Marlins or the Dodgers. With that as the backdrop, the White Sox should certainly look to deal their closer, David Robertson. He's signed at a fair price for the next two years, and if the White Sox are selling, they don't really need an elite closer. Also last night, rumors came out that Cleveland was very much in on former Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Despite getting to the World Series, Cleveland didn't have many elite hitters. They had several very good hitters, but Encarnacion would give them an elite bat in the middle to team with Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana to give them a very good lineup to go with their very good pitching staff. They would not only be the favorites in the American League Central, but a favorite to return to the World Series. The Royals certainly are making it known that they need to sell off some of their top talent. It appears they are making attempts to deal outfielder Lorenzo Cain. As Brandon Warne often says, Cain can provide young Torii Hunter defense while providing veteran Torii Hunter offensive production. He was hurt some in 2016, and his defense will soon start to go in the other direction so now is the time to deal him. Back to the closer discussion, the Royals are also said to be dangling Wade Davis. Davis was hurt in the second half of 2016, but he could command a huge return. The Cubs are said to be interested. Jorge Soler's name has been mentioned though I would think that the Cubs would have to add at least one, and maybe two, more pieces. DAILY DOZIER UPDATE Dozier appeared on MLB radio, and Derek Falvey was on earlier on Monday. Both were certainly saying the right things, especially when meeting with local Twin Cities media. Dozier made it clear that he would like to be part of the solution in Minnesota. He's invested a lot of time, work and passion into becoming a great player with the Twins. He wants to stay. But at the same time, he is intrigued by the rumors and says he has paid attention. He wants to win. He wants to be loyal. And he understands the business side of the game in which a 100-loss team needs to add as much talent as they can, even if it means difficult decisions. For his part, Falvey is saying the right things too, which isn't easy. He isn't flat-out lying and saying that nothing's going to happen. He talks about the respect that Dozier has earned and deserves, but he does so while clearly getting a lot of interest from teams on the second baseman. There wasn't a lot of new information on Monday. Jon Heyman pointed out that he learned the Yankees have inquired about Dozier. It's good to hear some specific names of other teams, even if just to let the Dodgers think that they need to up their offer if they really want to acquire Dozier. The Yankees added a lot of talent last summer from their trades of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Certainly Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge would likely be unavailable. But would pitching prospects like Luis Severino or lefty Justus Sheffield be available? Sheffield is the brother of Jordan Sheffield whose name has been mentioned as a possible return from the Dodgers. James Kaprelian is another pitching prospect of note. Clint Frazier is their top prospect, according to MLB.com. He came to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal and played in AAA the second half of the year. The Twins like their talented outfielders from Georgia high schools! An outfield of Kepler, Buxton and Frazier would sure be fun to watch grow! Gleyber Torres came from the Cubs in the Chapman deal. The shortstop was one of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League and is a top shortstop prospect in the game, ranking even higher than Nick Gordon. A middle infield down the line of Torres and Gordon would sure be nice. They both would start 2017 in AA Chattanooga. This is likely just wishful thinking as I doubt Torres is be available. Let's be honest. Outside of Brian Dozier talk and rumors, things have been very quiet on the Twins front, as it has been throughout baseball through one official day of Winter Meetings will that change on Tuesday? Here's the question for you to discuss and answer in the comments below - along with discussing other rumors of the day - In your opinion, what are the odds that the Twins trade Brian Dozier a.) before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, or b.) this offseason? Discuss below, and take the Twins Daily Twitter survey by clicking below. Click here to view the article
  10. OVERVIEW The Winter Meetings were originally set up as a meeting for all minor league teams. Then major league teams started crashing the party and since then, it has become a media Mecca. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just a place where GMs meet with agents and other GMs. Front offices of the teams go to have meetings. That said, of course, all the teams are there. All the GMs are there. All the agents are there. There are meetings. However, how many of the rumors will turn into actual transactions during this week? A few will, and we’ll try to stay on top of everything here at Twins Daily. WHITE SOX ARE BUSY Earlier in the offseason, the White Sox signed 1B Adam LaRoche, and then they signed lefty reliever Zach Duke. Rumors throughout the night were that the White Sox and A’s were in serious discussions about Jeff Samardzija. Sox infielder Marcus Simien, who was a top 100 prospect in Baseball America a year ago, was one name mentioned. It’s hard for me to believe he would be the key piece to such a trade. I think the White Sox would need to give up a higher-ranking prospect to get Samardzija. Then as midnight approached, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted that the White Sox signed closer David Robertson for four years and $46 million. The long-time set- up man for Mariano Rivera finally got the opportunity to close last year. He turned in a solid season and got his big pay day. There are rumors that the White Sox still could be a player for third baseman Chase Headley. Teaming “Shark” with lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana certainly gives the South Siders some quality pitching. COLABELLO CLAIMED BY THE BLUE JAYS Late this morning, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they had claimed first baseman Chris Colabello. He comes off the Twins 40-man roster, putting the roster at 39. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of days. Were the Twins just trying to clear up a spot for a potential free agent signing? Were they just opening up a roster spot so that they can make a Rule 5 selection on Thursday? Could other players currently be on the waiver wire to create more roster spots so that the Twins could do both? Colabello’s story was (and remains) remarkable. The Twins signed him before the 2012 season out of independent baseball where he spent eight seasons. He made the New Britain roster and raked that whole season. In 2013, he was invited to big league spring training and became a hero for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He was named the International League Rookie of the Year and MVP for his great play in AAA Rochester. In May, all that time spent culminated with his big league debut. And, of course, he made the Twins opening day roster. He was named the American League co-Player of the Month in April. Unfortunately, he was jammed on a pitch late in the month and had thumb problems that affected him the rest of the season. Even recently, he learned from an MRI that there was still inflammation. It’s a savvy move for the Blue Jays. The powerful Colabello showed that when healthy he can hit and be quite productive in the big leagues. The Blue Jays traded Adam Lind in the offseason to Milwaukee, but then they acquired first baseman Justin Smoak. Colabello could compete with another former Twins player, Danny Valencia, for right-handed platoon at-bats. The other thing is that Colabello still has an option year remaining so he can provide the Jays with powerful depth. Of course, seeing how Toronto has operated the last couple of seasons, it’s also possible that they could now try to sneak Colabello through waivers, too. OLIVA, KAAT FALL SHY OF COOPERSTOWN At 1:00 central time on Monday, the Hall of Fame gathered the media together in San Diego to tell them that the Veteran’s Committee had elected no one to the Hall of Fame. I think a press release might have done the job. For enshrinement, a player would have needed 12 of the 16 Veteran’s Committee members to vote for them. Tony Oliva and Dick Allen both received 11 votes. Jim Kaat received 10 votes. Can you imagine being one vote away from receiving baseball’s ultimate honor? One vote! Now, I have said many times in the past that I don’t think that Oliva or Kaat should be in the Hall of Fame, but whenever they are up for election again, I will hope like crazy that they make it. MASTERSON UPDATE 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson posted several tweets yesterday indicating that the Twins have been unable to meet with free agent starter Justin Masterson. It may be that his agent hasn’t been able to work out a time to talk to Terry Ryan. It’s also possible that Masterson just isn’t interested in the Twins. Listen, the reason that Masterson is appealing to many as a potential free agent acquisition is that he was coming off his age-29 season in which he posted a 7-9 record with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP between Cleveland and St. Louis. The thought was that he might want to sign a cheap, one-year deal with someone to regain market value, so why not the Twins? Part of the allure was that he has some upside and typically has eaten a lot of innings. However, since the hot stove league began, it’s been suggested by many that there are a lot of teams, likely well into double-digit teams, who are interested. That creates a bit of a bidding war. Frankly, it’s not a bidding war I would want to get into. His ERA+ in 2013 was 110, in 2012 it was 79, in 2011, it was 122, in 2010 it was 84 and in 2009 it was 94. That’s not the kind of guy you get into a bidding war over. OTHER FREE AGENTS OF NOTE LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune posted throughout the day that the Twins have been quite active talking to agents for some free agent pitchers. That sounds good, but the four pitchers that he is linking the Twins with are Logan Ondrusek, Dustin McGowan, John Axford and Alexi Ogando. All four would be relief pitchers. None of those names are terribly exciting on a major league contract. I realize that the Twins can improve their bullpen. I just personally prefer going the minor league signing route or using starting pitchers who are not in the starting rotation. Then again, I’m good with anyone on a minor league contract. TERRY RYAN NOTES In his Monday media discussions, Terry Ryan indicated that he had no interest in the Toronto Blue Jays CEO/President position. He said he is from Minnesota, it’s where his family is and will remain. This is no surprise, of course, since Ryan had the opportunity to be the Blue Jays general manager in 2001 when the Twins were on the contraction chopping block. He could have left then but decided that he was staying. He also said that Ron Gardenhire is likely to take the 2015 year off and then determine what he wants to do in 2016. He will continue to have a standing job offer with the Twins. COMING SOON: MINNESOTA TWINS PROSPECT HANDBOOK 2015 Much more will be coming throughout this week, but this year’s Twins Prospect Handbook will be available within a week, possibly even as early as Friday. Co-Authors Jeremy Nygaard, Cody Christie and I are waiting until after the Rule 5 draft to release the book so that we can add (or subtract) any players affected that day. This year’s Prospect Handbook (my seventh) is huge, and it’s packed with Twins minor league information. There are prospect profiles on approximately 150 Twins minor leaguers. Anyone from the Gulf Coast League through guys whose Rookie of the Year status remain. You’ll find stories on our choices for Starting Pitcher (JO Berrios), Relief Pitcher (Brandon Peterson), Hitter (Mitch Garver) and Manager (Doug Mientkiewicz) of the Year. Jeremy takes a look at the Twins draft in 2014 and looks ahead to the 2015 draft when the Twins have the sixth selection. Cody took a look at the injuries. We also had articles from Steve Buhr, Eric Pleiss and former Twins minor leaguer AJ Pettersen. I’m also excited to say that St. Paul Pioneer Press’s Mike Berardino wrote a terrific foreword for the book. We also want to thank Linwood Ferguson for his pictures of the Ft. Myers players and Steve Buhr for pictures from Cedar Rapids. As I mentioned, there will be much more information coming in the next few days. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift or stocking stuffer, consider getting a copy of the 2015 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON DAY 2? The White Sox won Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. What will happen on Day 2? Will the Twins make any news?
  11. The Winter Meetings are always a fun time for baseball fans. If you follow twitter or MLB Trade Rumors, there are constantly updates throughout the week, at all hours of the day. There is no question that the Chicago White Sox won Day 1 of the Winter Meetings. Here is a look at what happened on Day 1 in terms of Twins news. (No, it will not be empty below.)OVERVIEW The Winter Meetings were originally set up as a meeting for all minor league teams. Then major league teams started crashing the party and since then, it has become a media Mecca. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just a place where GMs meet with agents and other GMs. Front offices of the teams go to have meetings. That said, of course, all the teams are there. All the GMs are there. All the agents are there. There are meetings. However, how many of the rumors will turn into actual transactions during this week? A few will, and we’ll try to stay on top of everything here at Twins Daily. WHITE SOX ARE BUSY Earlier in the offseason, the White Sox signed 1B Adam LaRoche, and then they signed lefty reliever Zach Duke. Rumors throughout the night were that the White Sox and A’s were in serious discussions about Jeff Samardzija. Sox infielder Marcus Simien, who was a top 100 prospect in Baseball America a year ago, was one name mentioned. It’s hard for me to believe he would be the key piece to such a trade. I think the White Sox would need to give up a higher-ranking prospect to get Samardzija. Then as midnight approached, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted that the White Sox signed closer David Robertson for four years and $46 million. The long-time set- up man for Mariano Rivera finally got the opportunity to close last year. He turned in a solid season and got his big pay day. There are rumors that the White Sox still could be a player for third baseman Chase Headley. Teaming “Shark” with lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana certainly gives the South Siders some quality pitching. COLABELLO CLAIMED BY THE BLUE JAYS Late this morning, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they had claimed first baseman Chris Colabello. He comes off the Twins 40-man roster, putting the roster at 39. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of days. Were the Twins just trying to clear up a spot for a potential free agent signing? Were they just opening up a roster spot so that they can make a Rule 5 selection on Thursday? Could other players currently be on the waiver wire to create more roster spots so that the Twins could do both? Colabello’s story was (and remains) remarkable. The Twins signed him before the 2012 season out of independent baseball where he spent eight seasons. He made the New Britain roster and raked that whole season. In 2013, he was invited to big league spring training and became a hero for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He was named the International League Rookie of the Year and MVP for his great play in AAA Rochester. In May, all that time spent culminated with his big league debut. And, of course, he made the Twins opening day roster. He was named the American League co-Player of the Month in April. Unfortunately, he was jammed on a pitch late in the month and had thumb problems that affected him the rest of the season. Even recently, he learned from an MRI that there was still inflammation. It’s a savvy move for the Blue Jays. The powerful Colabello showed that when healthy he can hit and be quite productive in the big leagues. The Blue Jays traded Adam Lind in the offseason to Milwaukee, but then they acquired first baseman Justin Smoak. Colabello could compete with another former Twins player, Danny Valencia, for right-handed platoon at-bats. The other thing is that Colabello still has an option year remaining so he can provide the Jays with powerful depth. Of course, seeing how Toronto has operated the last couple of seasons, it’s also possible that they could now try to sneak Colabello through waivers, too. OLIVA, KAAT FALL SHY OF COOPERSTOWN At 1:00 central time on Monday, the Hall of Fame gathered the media together in San Diego to tell them that the Veteran’s Committee had elected no one to the Hall of Fame. I think a press release might have done the job. For enshrinement, a player would have needed 12 of the 16 Veteran’s Committee members to vote for them. Tony Oliva and Dick Allen both received 11 votes. Jim Kaat received 10 votes. Can you imagine being one vote away from receiving baseball’s ultimate honor? One vote! Now, I have said many times in the past that I don’t think that Oliva or Kaat should be in the Hall of Fame, but whenever they are up for election again, I will hope like crazy that they make it. MASTERSON UPDATE 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson posted several tweets yesterday indicating that the Twins have been unable to meet with free agent starter Justin Masterson. It may be that his agent hasn’t been able to work out a time to talk to Terry Ryan. It’s also possible that Masterson just isn’t interested in the Twins. Listen, the reason that Masterson is appealing to many as a potential free agent acquisition is that he was coming off his age-29 season in which he posted a 7-9 record with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP between Cleveland and St. Louis. The thought was that he might want to sign a cheap, one-year deal with someone to regain market value, so why not the Twins? Part of the allure was that he has some upside and typically has eaten a lot of innings. However, since the hot stove league began, it’s been suggested by many that there are a lot of teams, likely well into double-digit teams, who are interested. That creates a bit of a bidding war. Frankly, it’s not a bidding war I would want to get into. His ERA+ in 2013 was 110, in 2012 it was 79, in 2011, it was 122, in 2010 it was 84 and in 2009 it was 94. That’s not the kind of guy you get into a bidding war over. OTHER FREE AGENTS OF NOTE LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune posted throughout the day that the Twins have been quite active talking to agents for some free agent pitchers. That sounds good, but the four pitchers that he is linking the Twins with are Logan Ondrusek, Dustin McGowan, John Axford and Alexi Ogando. All four would be relief pitchers. None of those names are terribly exciting on a major league contract. I realize that the Twins can improve their bullpen. I just personally prefer going the minor league signing route or using starting pitchers who are not in the starting rotation. Then again, I’m good with anyone on a minor league contract. TERRY RYAN NOTES In his Monday media discussions, Terry Ryan indicated that he had no interest in the Toronto Blue Jays CEO/President position. He said he is from Minnesota, it’s where his family is and will remain. This is no surprise, of course, since Ryan had the opportunity to be the Blue Jays general manager in 2001 when the Twins were on the contraction chopping block. He could have left then but decided that he was staying. He also said that Ron Gardenhire is likely to take the 2015 year off and then determine what he wants to do in 2016. He will continue to have a standing job offer with the Twins. COMING SOON: MINNESOTA TWINS PROSPECT HANDBOOK 2015 Much more will be coming throughout this week, but this year’s Twins Prospect Handbook will be available within a week, possibly even as early as Friday. Co-Authors Jeremy Nygaard, Cody Christie and I are waiting until after the Rule 5 draft to release the book so that we can add (or subtract) any players affected that day. This year’s Prospect Handbook (my seventh) is huge, and it’s packed with Twins minor league information. There are prospect profiles on approximately 150 Twins minor leaguers. Anyone from the Gulf Coast League through guys whose Rookie of the Year status remain. You’ll find stories on our choices for Starting Pitcher (JO Berrios), Relief Pitcher (Brandon Peterson), Hitter (Mitch Garver) and Manager (Doug Mientkiewicz) of the Year. Jeremy takes a look at the Twins draft in 2014 and looks ahead to the 2015 draft when the Twins have the sixth selection. Cody took a look at the injuries. We also had articles from Steve Buhr, Eric Pleiss and former Twins minor leaguer AJ Pettersen. I’m also excited to say that St. Paul Pioneer Press’s Mike Berardino wrote a terrific foreword for the book. We also want to thank Linwood Ferguson for his pictures of the Ft. Myers players and Steve Buhr for pictures from Cedar Rapids. As I mentioned, there will be much more information coming in the next few days. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift or stocking stuffer, consider getting a copy of the 2015 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON DAY 2? The White Sox won Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. What will happen on Day 2? Will the Twins make any news? Click here to view the article
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