The Twins and the offseason


MLB Trade Rumors posted the offseason outlook for the Twins today. They are much more plugged into the baseball world than I even pretend to be, but I think I am pretty aware of how the Twins work, so I thought I would break it down a little bit further. More specifically, I want to take a look at the names they threw out as guys that would be targets for Terry Ryan and the front office.

I don’t have a problem with the position players that were thrown out there by Steve Adams. Corey Hart and Casey McGehee have talent, but are trying to return to the majors after injury or a stint in Japan. This is the type of move that a team makes when hoping to find a diamond in the rough. A player isn’t just looking to make a huge check, he is just hoping to play at the highest level again. With something to prove, a guy like Hart or McGehee could be a positive influence for the Twins offense, but also the clubhouse.

Obviously, the issue with the team, the biggest one, at any rate, is the pitching. There is a full list of pitchers that the post references as possible targets for the Twins. I really do think the Twins are willing to pay fair market price for quality starters, but I also think that pitchers, who are more volatile and prone to injury, also command a greater ransom from poorer teams. Starting pitchers that might be a 1 or 2 on the Twins could have a better chance to compete elsewhere and would still start, but as a 4-5 starter. There isn’t a playing time advantage by coming to a bad team, like there is for a position player, and they can hold out for a spot with a championship contender. Good free agent starting pitchers that would come to Minnesota would be mercenaries. I’m not saying that as some sort of “intangibles” garbage, I’m saying that the Twins will have to overpay for starters and I wonder if the Twins will be willing to do that.

I don’t think a cash commitment will be the issue, but rather the years. Do you really want the Twins to commit 4 years to the inconsistent Ubaldo Jimenez, or oft injured Scott Kazmir? The mediocre Phil Hughes? I don’t see how any of these guys have incentive to come to Minneapolis unless they are grossly overpaid, or are on a one year deal angling for a bigger contract next year.

I do think that Randy Messenger is a good option for the Twins, however, coming back from Japan. If he is just looking to get back into the Majors, then his price may not be overwhelming. Other than that, however, I feel the Twins will have their work cut out for them.They can either back off on guys when the price tag gets outrageous and get raked through the coals for being inactive, or they can overpay pitchers to little benefit (as this is a roster that needs about 4 new starters) and see their wisdom questioned 

Like I said initially, I think the Twins are willing to spend money if the price is fair. I just don’t think the price will be fair very often. Expect the Twins to be active traders if a significant impact to the rotation will be made this year.

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