12/7/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 12/7/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:

  • The MLB Rule 5 draft will be tomorrow.  Here is an earlier list of the Twins' players who are exposed
  • he Twins have re-signed Yorman Landa whom they took off the 40-man roster last week as a minor league free agent with a Spring Training invitation, he is an additional liability for the Rule 5 track (12/6)
  • The Twins could have interest in Red Sox'  Ps Drew Pomeranz and Clay Buchholtz, but have not discussed them yet with Boston (12/6)
  • The Twins have some interest in LHP Clayton Richard (12/6)
  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).   The Twins are "aiming high" as far as returns for Dozier go and are "shooting for the stars" (11/25). The Angels and Philies are among the teams interested in Dozier (11/25).  The latest news indicates that the Dodgers have piqued the Twins' interest as far as a potential Dozier trade goes (12/4).  Add the Yankees to the list of the teams interested in Dozier (12/5), a report that Yankees' GM Cashman later called false (12/5)
  • The Twins have talked to the Diamondbacks about their young pitching.  No particular names were mentioned and nothing is imminent (11/29)
  • The Twins have expressed interest in  3B Matt Dominguez as far as minor league free agents go (11/29)
  • The Twins might be interested in RHP Justin Masterson (11/23) as a minor league free agent signing (11/29)
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)
From the former Twins' news department:

  • Former Twins C Wilson Ramos has signed a 2yr/$12.5-18.5M contract with the Rays
  • Former Twins 1B/OF Chris Colabello elected free agent (12/6)
  • Former Twins 1B Justin Morneau has signed an 1yr/$1M contract with the White Sox (12/6)
  • Former Twins' P Bob Tewksberry has joined the Giants as a mental skills coordinator (12/5)

12/6/16

Five (plus two) names to know for the Twins' rule 5 draft

The Twins have the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft this week.  Previously, I discussed the potential Twins' liabilities in the draft.  Now that all major league 40-man rosters are settled in as far as who is unprotected, I will be listing five players who should be interesting targets for the Twins.

A bit of a reminder regarding how the draft works:  A team can select any unprotected player of any other team and pay $100,000 (increased from $50K in the new CBA).  The team has to keep the player on the 25-man roster (or the MLB Disabled List, which means that the player will burn an option and accrue MLB service.) If not, the team will offer the player back to his original team for half the cost ($50,000) or work a trade with that team.   And the draft can go on ad infinitum, so the Twins, if they open another spot on their 40-man roster that currently stands at 39, can pick first on the second round and so on.  The types of players who make sense to select are players who will be the last one on the best or out of the bullpen.  With the re-singing of Escobar and the glut of the Twins' outfields, as well as the lack of impact arms in the organization, pitching is the way to go.

Here are five potential targets for the Twins:

LHP Ismael Guillon (Cincinati Reds). Born on 2/13/1992 in Valencia, Venezuela.

Despite his 24 years, the highest competition level Guillon faced was at the Advanced A Florida State League.  He missed his first professional season recuperating from Tommy John surgery, and after two successful seasons at the Arizona (Rookie) and Pioneer (advanced Rookie) Leagues, the Reds added him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the 2012,2013, and 2014 rule 5 drafts.  He was taken off that roster before the 2015 season that he missed because of a torn lat muscle and he was not re-added after his 2016 campaign.  In 2016 he returned to Advanced A, a level he reached in 2014, and he was very successful:  He appeared in 32 games, making 13 starts, for a total of 99.3 innings. He struck out 116 (11.6 K/9) and walked 39 (3.76 BB/9).  He allowed 25 ERs (2.41 ERA) and finished the season with a 3.57 FIP and 0.95 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .162 batting average, and lefties to a .133 average (.133/.233/.222 slash.)

Control of his fastball has been his problem and he tends to walk bit more than ideal, but it has been improving, as have been his strikeouts.  His fastball as a starter varied from 90-93 mph and as a reliever it reached 95-96 mph.  However, his best pitch is his change up that is a devastating plus plus pitch. It velocity is up to 15 mph less than his fastball, which is an incredible drop, and he is not tipping it.  He is also throwing an average curveball at this point.  Lefthanders with a 95+ mph fastball (that needs some work) and a devastating changeup do not grow on trees and he is a good bet for an arm out of the pen starting facing primarily lefties.  He potentially projects as a top of the rotation starter, if he improves his command of the fastball and the quality of his breaking ball.

I could have really stopped here, as far as the potential Twins targets go.  Guillon is of that quality.  Here are the rest:

RHP Pedro Payano (Rangers) . Born on September 27, 1994 in New York, NY, but his family return to the Dominican and was signed as an international free agent.

The New Twins' Front office has a good knowledge of the Indians' and Rangers' systems and will look there for potential bargains, and the 22 Payano might be the Rangers' best bargain.  Last season he played for the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic (A) League.  He appeared in 15 games, making 13 starts, for a total of 73.6 innings. He struck out 82 (10.2 K/9) and walked 29 (3.54 BB/9).  He allowed 17 ERs (2.08 ERA) and finished the season with a 2.91 FIP and 1.19 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .219 batting average, and righties to a .231 average.   He spent the second part of the season in the DL with an undisclosed injury.

Payano has three above average pitches: a 92-93 mph fastball, a low 80s change up, and a hammer curve that is borderline plus.  He has a great feel for the game and excellent mechanics, allowing him to keep his fastball velocity deep in games and also has the ability to throw any pitch at any count.  There were some undisclosed issues that kept him for his first 3 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, but it seems that he is over them and also Twins GM Thad Levine should be aware of them.  Mid to top of the rotation potential, another solid Rule 5 draft pick.

RHP Yimmi Brasoban (Padres) Born on June 22, 1994 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

The 22 year old started 2016 with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the Advanced A California league and after 10 games he was promoted to San Antonio Missions of the AA Texas League. He appeared as a reliever in 29 AA games, for a total of 35.6 innings. He struck out 35 (8.83 K/9) and walked 16 (4.04 BB/9).  He allowed 12 ERs (3.03 ERA) and finished the season with a 3.10 FIP and 1.21 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .216 batting average, and righties to a .190 average.

Unlike Payano and Guillon, Brasoban is a pure reliever with two plus pitches and inconsistent command and control.  His FB sits at 96-98 mph and peaks higher and he supplements it with a hard breaking slider.  He kept righties to a .190/.292/.238 and has been successful in AA, so he is pretty intriguing.  His ceiling is late inning reliever.

LHP Corey Littrell (Cardinals)  Born on March 21, 1992 in Louisville, KY

The 24 year old played in both AA and AAA in 2016, and he made the transition from a starter to a reliever.   In both leagues he appeared as a reliever in 53 AA games, making 1 start, for a total of 67 innings. He struck out 63 (8.23 K/9) and walked 30 (4.34 BB/9).  He allowed 29 ERs (3.90 ERA) and finished the season with a 4.30 FIP and 1.33 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .261 batting average.  These numbers are a bit inflated by his PCL performance, but his AA Texas League numbers were considerable better (1.72 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 0.570 WHIP, 8.04 K/9, 0.57 BB/9, .145 OBA).

Littrell was on his first year of transition to the pen and in a pitcher unfriendly league that destroyed his command. Polished pitcher with a great pickoff move.  Above average to plus fastball that sits and 91-93 but can peak to mid-nineties, has an additional avobe average circle change in the low 80s, a slow curve that is borderline plus and a cutter that is work in progress. Fourth starter potential or late inning reliever ceiling.

LHP Angel Perdomo (Blue Jays)  Born on May 7, 1994 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic

The 22 year old played last season with the Full season A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League, so the Twins have had the opportunity to face him. He appeared in 27 AA games, 25 starts, for a total of 127 innings. He struck out 156 (11.6 K/9) and walked 54 (3.83 BB/9).  He allowed 45 ERs (3.19 ERA) and finished the season with a 2.89 FIP and 1.22 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .219 batting average, and lefties to a .193 average.

Perdomo is a very intriguing pick because he is projectible (he is 6'6" and 200 lbs), later bloomer (if you can say that for a 22 year old) and took a big step forward with his fastball last season.  Command and control is still an issue, but when it gets close to the zone, his fastball, that climbed up to 96-97 from 92-94 this season, is a hard ball for hitter to hit.  He has a slider that is above average and an change up that is a work in progress.  A lot of his projection depends on the development of secondary pitchers but lefties who throw 97 mph fastballs as starters do not grow on trees.  Top of the rotation potential if he develops both of the secondary offering to a plus level, but definitely late inning material.  A well worthy pick.

Two more names to know are 21 year old RHP Nabil Crismatt of the Mets' organization.  Really high potential, 3 good pitches, but Rookie level only make him much more of a risky pick.  RHP Mike Hauschild of the Astros' organization is a pitch to contact ground ball machine with five pitches: fastball, sinker, slider, change and splitter.  He is 26 and played in the PCL the last 2 seasons with some success and a career 61.6 % groundball inducing average.  Could he be the next Derek Lowe? Time will tell.

12/5/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 12/5/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:
  • The Twins have promoted Deron Johnson to senior scouting advisor and Sean Johnson to Scouting Director (12/5)
  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).   The Twins are "aiming high" as far as returns for Dozier go and are "shooting for the stars" (11/25). The Angels and Philies are among the teams interested in Dozier (11/25).  The latest news indicates that the Dodgers have piqued the Twins' interest as far as a potential Dozier trade goes (12/4).  Add the Yankees to the list of the teams interested in Dozier (12/5)
  • The Twins' have signed former Rockies' 1B/OF Ben Paulsen to a minor league deal with an invitation to the MLB Spring Training (12/4)
  • The Twins and IF Eduardo Escobar have settled in an 1yr/$2.6M contract (12/2)  
  • The Twins have offered arbitration to all their eligible players (12/2)
  • The Twins have cut RHP Yorman Landa, who became a free agent (12/2)
  • The Twins have fired former GM and Assistant to GM Bill Smith. (12/1)
  • The Twins have hired Yankee's minor league hitting coordinator and former Cubs' hitting coach James Rowson as their new hitting coach (12/1)
  • The Twins have re-signed minor league free agent Alex Wimmers (12/1)
  • The Twins have talked to the Diamondbacks about their young pitching.  No particular names were mentioned and nothing is imminent (11/29)
  • The Twins have expressed interest in  3B Matt Dominguez as far as minor league free agents go (11/29)
  • The Twins might be interested in RHP Justin Masterson (11/23) as a minor league free agent signing (11/29)
  • The Twins have officially hired, former Twins' players, Torii HunterMike Cuddyer, and LaTroy Hawkins as Special Assistants to the Front Office (11/28)
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)
From the former Twins' news department:

  • The Blue Jays have signed former Twins 1B/OF Steve Pearce to a 2 yr/$12.5M contract (12/5)
  • Former Twins LHP Brian Duensing has signed an 1yr/$2MM MLB deal with the Cubs (12/2) 
  • Former Twins CF Ben Revere has been non-tendered by the Nationals and is a free agent (12/2)
  • Former Twins P Vance Worley has been non-tendered by the Orioles and is a free agent (12/2)
  • Former Twins P Jeff Manship has been non-tendered by the Indians and is a free agent (12/2)
  • Former Twins C Rene Rivera agreed to an 1yr/$1.75M deal with the Mets, avoiding arbitration (12/2) 
  • The Orioles have claimed former Twins OF Adam Walker off waivers from the Brewers (12/2)
  • Former Twins 1B/OF Chris Colabello was outrighted to AAA by the Blue Jays (12/2)
  • Former Twins C Eric Fryer was cut by the Pirates (12/2)
  • Former Twins OF Logan Schafer signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. (12/1)
  • Former Twins 1B/DH Chris Parmelee a minor league deal with the Athletics (12/1)
  • Former Twins LHP Dan Runzler signed a minor league deal with the Pirates. (12/1)
  • Former Twins SS Wilfredo Tovar signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals. (12/1)

12/1/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 12/1/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:
  • The Twins have signed 17 year old Venezuelan C Jeferson Morales and have assigned him to the DSL Twins (11/30)
  • The Twins have talked to the Diamondbacks about their young pitching.  No particular names were mentioned and nothing is imminent (11/29)
  • The Twins have expressed interest in 1B/OF Ben Paulsen and 3B Matt Dominguez as far as minor league free agents go (11/29)
  • The Twins might be interested in RHP Justin Masterson (11/23) as a minor league free agent signing (11/29)
  • Chad Allen and  Joe Vavra are internal candidates for the hitting coach position for the Twins, along with a couple of outside candidates; an announcement might be close (11/29)
  • The Twins have officially hired, former Twins' players, Torii Hunter, Mike Cuddyer, and LaTroy Hawkins as Special Assistants to the Front Office (11/28)
  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).  However they seem to be some ways apart (11/20).  The Twins are "aiming high" as far as returns for Dozier go and are "shooting for the stars" (11/25). The Angels and Philies are among the teams interested in Dozier (11/25).
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)
From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins GM Terry Ryan has been hired by the Phillies as special assignment scout (11/30)
  • Former Twins' OF Adam Walker has been designated for assignment by the Brewers (11/28)

11/29/16

The Twins new marketing slogan is way out of touch.

The Minnesota Twins after they finally decided to put an end (albeit slow) to the Terry Ryan regime, and the day after they announced that they hired the former player from the malaise era of "almost good enough" of Ron Gardenhire and the Unemployables,  here comes their new marketing campaign.  I received this in my e-mail box this evening:


I get summertime.  I do.  But "memories"?  Really?  What memories?  It has been a full 25 years since memories of the Twins' performance on a ballpark were worthwhile.  

On the other hand, the person who came up with the Twins' new marketing slogan was likely not born then... 

 

11/28/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/28/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:

  • Twins' LHP Glen Perkins' rehab activities look like he will be in line for another typical season for him (11/27)
  • It is early but it looks like the Twins are following two High School players, one pitcher and one position player, for their first overall draft pick next summer (11/26)
  • Sounds like the Twins will announce their new hitting and first base coaches this week (11/26)
  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).  However they seem to be some ways apart (11/20).  The Twins are "aiming high" as far as returns for Dozier go and are "shooting for the stars" (11/25). The Angels and Philies are among the teams interested in Dozier (11/25).
  • The Twins might be interested in RHP Justin Masterson (11/23)
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)

From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins' LHP Pat Dean has signed a contract with the KBO KIA Tigers (11/26)
  • Former Twins' IF Tim Teufel  who has been fired as Mets' third base and catching coach, has accepted a position in that organization as minor league roving instructor (11/26)
  • Former Twins' RHP DJ Johnson signed a minor league contract with the Rockies (11/25)

11/25/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/25/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here  and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:

  • The Twins might be interested in RHP Justin Masterson (11/23)
  • The Twins have signed free agent C Jason Castro to a 3 year/ $24.5 million dollar contract (11/22)
  • The name of Nick Hudley has come about as "plan B" for some teams after Castro, as far as catchers go, but it is unclear whether the Twins are one of these teams.(11/22)
  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).  However they seem to be some ways apart (11/20).  Also multiple undisclosed teams have been also interested in Dozier (11/10)
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)

From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins RHP Neil Ramirez has signed a minor league deal with the Giants (11/23)
  • Former Twins OF Shane Robinson has signed a minor league deal with the Angels (11/23)

11/21/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/21/2016

This is the latest installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here  and all the previous installments in this series here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:

  • The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11  and reconfirmed on 11/16).  However they seem to be some ways apart (11/20). 
  • It looks like the new Twins' Front Office t is doing the right thing and committing to a full-time rebuild.(11/20)  However, previous reports suggested that the Twins were after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • La Troy Hawkins has accepted a Front Office role as a special advisor with the Twins; Torii Hunter,  Michael Cuddyer, and Corey Koskie have also had discussions about potential front office roles (11/19)
  • The Twins have made an offer to an undisclosed free agent (11/18)
  • The Twins have outrighted 3B Trevor Plouffe and he elected to be a Free Agent (11/18) 
  • The Twins have outrighted C Juan Centeno  (11/18) 
  • Twins' OF Adam Walker has been claimed by the Brewers (11/18)
  • The Twins added C Mitch Garver, OFs Daniel Palka and Zack Granite; SS Engelb Vielma and RHPs Fernando Romero and Felix Jorge to their 40-man roster. (11/18)
  • Twins' 1B Kennys Vargas (who apparently has a fourth option left), has drawn some trade interest, but no teams are named (11/17)
  • The Twins have talked with the agent of free agent C Jason Castro during the GM meetings.and having another meeting with him this week and still thinking about making an offer (11/16)
  • Multiple undisclosed teams have been also interested in Brian Dozier (11/10)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)

  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)

From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins' RHP Chih-Wei Hu was added to the Rays' 40-man roster (11/18) 
  • Former Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was DFA'd by the Padres (11/18)
  • Former Twins' C Drew Butera has signed a 2-year contract with the Royals (11/18)

11/18/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/18/2016

This is the fourth installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous here ,  here, and here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:


From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins 3B coach and manager, Ron Gardenhire, was named the Diamondbacks' bench coach (11/17) 
  • Former Twins 37 year old LHP Johan Santana is playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, preparing for a potential comeback in the majors.
  • Former Twins' OF Shane Robinson who was DFA'd by the Angels, opted for free agency (11/16)
  • Former Twins' C Mike Redmond was named the Rockies' bench coach. (11/16)

11/16/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/16/2016

This is the third installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the first one here and the second here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:


Not a transaction, but it impacts who the Twins will protect on their 40-man roster, RHP Zack Jones had surgery to correct a torn labrum in September (and the sitting duck Twins' Front Office never bothered to publicize) and will be out of baseball activities for at least 12 months, in what appears like a lost 2017 season.

From the former Twins' news department:

11/14/16

Twins' off-season moves and rumors report: 11/14/2016

This is the second installment of the Twins 2016-2017 off-season rumors and moves report.  You can find the previous one here.

I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come periodically, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:


  •  The Dodgers have had discussions with the Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier (11/11)
  • The Twins have had discussions with the agent of RHP Joba Chamberlain, Casey Close.  He also represents who also represents former closers Joe Smith and Shawn Tolleson (11/10)
  • Multiple undisclosed teams are additionally interested in Brian Dozier (11/10)
  • The Twins have talked with the agent of free agent C Jason Castro during the GM meetings.(11/9)
  • The Twins are also reported to be after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)
  • The Twins have re-signed Brazilian minor league infielder Leonardo Reginatto (11/3) 
From the former Twins' news department:
  • Former Twins' third baseman Danny Valencia was traded from the Athletics to the Mariners, for Paul Blackburn.  RHSP Paul Blackburn is 22 and  was a former supplemental first round pick of the Cubs.(11/13)
  • The Blue Jays have signed former Twins' DH Kendrys Morales to a 3 year, $33 million dollar contact (11/11)
  • Former Twins C Josmil Pinto was outrighted off Milwaukee's 40 mam roster (11/8)
  • Former Twins SS Pedro Florimon, elected free agency when removed from the Pirates 40-man roster (11/3) 

11/9/16

Twins' offseason moves and rumors: 11/9/2016

With Derek Falvey and Thad Levine as the new heads of the Twins' baseball operations, the first changes in the Twins' organization and the first interest in certain players has begun.  I will be bringing news for Twins moves and rumored interest as they come, leaving the names of interesting parties as are unless something changes about their status, adding new information as it comes.  As previously, this is actually reported interest, and not "who fits where" hypothetical interest.  I will be adding information about former Twins as it happens, but not rumors, as well.  This is what has happened or rumored to have happened so far:

  • Not many changes are happening at the front office.  It looks like most Assistant GMs under Ryan, esp. Antony, Radcliff, and Johnson will remain for the foreseeable future in their roles, likely to provide a bridge and ensure operational continuity, allowing Falvey and Levine to assess them and make more changes next off-season, or when they deem necessary.  It looks like the new Twins' brass will not make wholesale changes and likely use 2017 and a trial season; they would ever look at Terry Ryan to potentially return in some role.
  • One front office opening: Andrew Ettel, Twins coordinator of baseball research has resigned
  • The first casualties in the Scouting department were East Coast scouts Jay Weitzel and Ricky Taylor.
  • The Twins' brass is also taking a conservative approach with the coaches, announcing that all of them except Butch Davis, the 1st base coach, and Tom Brunansky, the hitting coach, will return.  A lot of people are disappointed that the coach of the worst pitching staff in the majors, who also was arrested for DUI, is retained.  In addition, Butch Davis' dismissal looks too similar to when the Twins scapegoated Jerry and Stelly for their 99 loss season.  With Ryan dismissed, and taking the biggest fall, the statement here, is that the root causes of 2016 were likely because of personnel issues and not field management.
  • Speaking of personnel, the Twins will be talking with the agent of free agent C Jason Castro today.(11/9)
  • The Twins are also reported to be after "experienced" players, without any names mentioned. (11/9)
  • The Twins' have attended the showcase of former Royals' closer RHP Greg Holland. (11/7)
  • Alex Wimmers was outrighted to AAA Rochester.  This brings the Twins' 40-man roster to 37, 21 pitchers and 16 position players.  Expect more removals before the month is over.
  • On the minor league front, the City of Elizabethton, TN, is making a large investment in their ballpark, to keep the Twins-owned Rookie Appalachian League affiliate in town.
From the former Twins' news department:
  • The Marlins have announced former Twins and 1991 World Series champion, Mike Pagliarulo, as their new hitting coach.
  • The Giants have announced that another former Twins' third baseman, Phil Nevin, will be their new third base coach.

11/4/16

Good luck to the new Twins baseball leaders and a piece of advice

A lot of Twins fans have not realized it, after a season with the worst record losses, since the franchise moved to Minnesota, 103, but this week signified too major events for the Twins:

  • The start of the 2016-2017 off-season that finds them tied in the first place in the AL Central with a .500 record
  • The start of a brand new baseball leadership in the faces of Derek Falvey as the first ever Twins' Chief Baseball Officer and Thad Levine as the Twins Senior VP and General Manager.  And, even more importantly, this is the first time that the Twins have hired their baseball leadership from outside the organization, since 1986 when Andy MacPhail, replaced (for practical purposes) Calvin Griffith, as the Twins baseball leader.

Hope runs high and I want to wish the new Twins' leadership good luck, and offer a single piece of advise:

Please do not assume, because the bar is so low and that hope runs high, that the Twins' fan base does not have high expectations.  As a matter of fact, some of us are setting the bar not at the level of who you are replacing, but at the level of what happened the first time new blood infused the franchise.  And that is a very high bar, set at the level of 2 World Championships in 4 seasons.

What would be your one piece advise to the new Twins' baseball leaders, along with your well wishes? 

10/21/16

Twins' second baseman Brian Dozier credits his career season to a dog named pickle.

This interview of Twins' second baseman Brian Dozier by Jason Munz of the Hattiesburg American, is a delightful piece and something that no Twins' fans should miss.

Among the many interesting nuggets on this article, including his desire to be in the US World Baseball Classic team, is the source of Dozier's power surge:

When asked about how things changed for him, since he was so cold early in the season, Dozier replied: “My wife and I got a French Bulldog named ‘Pickle’. Maybe Pickle was a spark.”



10/14/16

The Twins 40-man roster Part 2: Who should be protected from the Rule 5 Draft

The first segment of this series was dedicated to cleaning up the Twins' existing 40-man roster, assuming that the new management will do the right thing and go for a full rebuild.  This second segment, further adjusts the roster by adding players to protect from the draft, and maybe subtracting some of the players on the derived roster.  As a bonus, I will be listing additional Twins minor leaguers who do not need to be protected for the Rule 5 draft, but might merit consideration for a spot on the roster.  This list will give a good overview of the high level minor league talent available currently in the Twins' organization.  I will not proposed to add anyone who does not need to be added on the 40-man roster right now, eg. Steven Gonsalves, Jake Reed etc, but instead, the Twins should invite them as non-roster players to the 2017 Spring Training.  If they win a job there, they should merit a roster spot, but the Twins would need much roster flexibility this off-season.

Here is the 24 man roster, after the clean up.  Noted that if Perkins is moved to the 60-day disabled list, the roster would stand at 23, allowing up to 17 openings:

Jose Berrios 5/27/1994 (RHSP)
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993 (CF)
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989 (C)
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990 (RHRP)
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990 (RHRP)
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 (RHSP)
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989 (IF)
Max Kepler 2/10/1993 (RF)
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994 (RHRP)
Pat Light 3/29/1991 (RHRP)
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 (1B/DH)
Trevor May 9/23/1989 (RHSP)
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993 (LHSP)
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991 (LHRP)
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991 (C)
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 (1B/DH)
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 (LHRP) (*)
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993 (SS)
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990 (LHRP)
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991 (LF)
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994 (LHRP)
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993 (3B)
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990 (1B/DH)
Adam Walker 10/18/1991 (OF/DH)

Clearly the weakest lings on the roster are the two borderline age-wise position players, Catcher Juan Centeno, and utility infielder Eduardo Escobar.  In addition, Pat Light is the weakest relief pitcher, so borderline players would be compared to these three because they will be fighting for their spots.

Here are the Rule 5 Draft-eligible Position players, by position:

Catchers: 

Kevin Garcia, 9/17/1992, A/A+, 2016: .249/.302/.323, career: .252/.321/.315
Mitch Garver, 1/1/1991, AAA/AA, 2016: .270/.342/.422, career: .267/.359/.406 (*)
Rainis Silva, 3/20/1996 A, 2016: .230/.297/.254, career: .238/.295/.293
Stuart Turner, 12/27/1991, AA, 2016: .239/.322/.363, career: .241/.325/.352

Clearly Mitch Garver should be on the roster, since he will be fighting for a starting job in 2017.  Rainis Silva's glove is the best in the organization at the Catcher position right now, but his bat stinks, and unless that improves (and there is a lot of time, he just turned 20,) there is no risk of losing him.  I do not see Kevin Garcia being selected.  Whether adding Stuart Turner on the roster, is a toss-up.  His bat does not play in the majors, but his glove might.  Which brings the question: who should be on the roster, Turner or Centeno?  I think that Centeno's lefty bat that was not unrespectable in the majors wins here, but it is a close call.  It might be an academic question because the Twins are in dire need of a young good catcher, and if they obtain him this off-season will take the spot now reserved for Centeno.

Additions:  Garver

Infielders: 

Niko Goodrum, 2/28/1992, A+/AA, 2016: .275/.352/.464, career: .247/.339/.368
Levi Michael 2/9/1991, AA, 2016: .215/.293/.291, career: .250/.341/.343
Amaurys Minier, 1/20/1996, RK+, 2016: .222/.318/.449, career: .233/.321/.422
Rafael Valera, 8/25/1994, A, 2016: .261/.366/.409, career: .260/.380/.333
Engelb Vielma, 6/22/1994, A+/AA, 2016: .265/.344/.310, career: .264/.327/.309  
Ryan Walker, 3/26/1992, A+/AA, 2016: .271/.347/.345, career:  .262/.324/.321

Levi Michael had a terrible season after two strong ones, and I am not sure whether he is even in the Twins' plans right now that the administration that picked him in the first round is extinct.  I cannot see Valera or Walker get selected,  I think that Niko's Goodrum's career year and positional versatility (can play both positions on the left side of the infield, and can sub for both Sano and Polanco, plus Centerfield) as well as Engelb Vielma's standout glove and improved to respectability bat, will entice teams and could help the Twins in the future.  As a matter of fact, either would be better as a utility player for the 2017 Twins than Eduardo Escobar. Both in, Escobar traded/non-tendered.  The last player in this list is a wild card.  Amaurys Minier has had superstar potential but been plagued by injuries and inconsistencies.  Has not played above Elizabethton, but I am so afraid that someone could pull a Johan Santana on the Twins and pick him.  Got to protect him for at least another year.

Additions: Goodrum, Minier, Vielma
Subtractions: Escobar

Outfielders:

Edgar Corcino 6/7/1992, AA/A+ 2016: .273/.337/.420, career:  .245/.316/.368
JJ Fernandez, 3/30/1994, A, 2016: .225/.293/.363, career: .239/.293/.363
Zach Granite, 9/17/1992, AA, 2016: .295/.347/.382 (56/70 SB), career: .282/.349/.354 (*)
Max Murphy, 11/17/1992, A/A+, 2016: .236/.289/.358, career: .252/.329/.411
Travis Harrison, 10/17/1992, AA, 2016: .230/.338/.339, career: .254/.360/.380
Daniel Palka, 10/28/1991, AA/AAA, 2016: .254/.327/.521, career: .268/.346/.509 (*)

I think that what I wrote previously regardless Levi Michael, applies to Travis Harrison as well.  This might be his last chance in the Twins' organization.  Fernandez and Murphy are not close to being MLB-ready or selected in the draft.  Corcino is a better player than both, but still ways away.  This leaves the player whom the Twins named minor league player of the year, Zach Granite, and the player they should had named, Daniel Palka.  They both should be protected and added on the 40-man roster.  Palka will fight (or push back to second base) Eduardo Rosario for a corner outfielder job and Zach Granite and his 56 stolen bases might make the best 4th outfielder, pinch runner combination the Twins have had for years.

Additions: Granite, Palka

Notable non-Rule 5 Draft-eligible at A+ and above position players:

Nick Gordon (SS) 10/24/1995, A+, 2016: .291/.335/.386, career: .285/.335/.371
LaMonte Wade (OF) 1/1/1994, A/A+, 2016: .293/.402/.438, career: .297/.409/.459

Both should be invited to the 2017 Spring Training and given the ability to win an MLB job, but they should not be added on the roster unless they need to.

Rule 5 Draft-eligible Pitchers: 

Starters:

Ryan Eades (R), 12/15/1991, AA, 2016: 4.61 ERA, 1.376 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 career:  4.33 ERA, 1.379 WHIP, 6.7 K/9
Felix Jorge.(R) 1/2/1994, A+/AA, 2016: 2.69 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 5.9 K/9 career:  3.17 ERA, 1.164  WHIP, 7.4 K/9
Aaron Slegers, (R) 9/4/1992, AA,  2016: 3.41 ERA, 1.259 WHIP, 6.4 K/9 career:  3.54 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
Fernando Romero, (R) 12/24/1994, A/A+, 2016: 2.09 ERA, 0.897 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 career:  2.37 ERA, 1.032 WHIP, 8.8 K/9
Lewis Thorpe, (L), 11/23/1995. lost 2015 and 2016 with Tommy John surgery & other ailments. 2012-2014:  2.96 ERA, 1.176 WHIP, 11.2 K/9
Jason Wheeler (L), 10/27/1990, AAA/AA, 2016: 3.30 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 career:  3.66 ERA, 1.325 WHIP, 6.4 K/9

Ryan Eades had a below average season as a starter and I expect him to make the transition to the pen this season, which will be his best opportunity to get to the majors.  Felix Jorge and Fernando Romero are just too good not to add.  Both, especially Romero, have outside chances of wining a position in the Twins' rotation this spring.  They are both no-brainer additions.  Lewis Thorpe was a phenomenal prospect who lost 2 seasons in a row.  Is he back?  Only the Twins know.  I just do not see a chance for anyone to select him, but if the Twins think there is, I can see him add him on the roster.  I won't.  Slegers is an intriguing possibility:  He has been above average his career with above average stuff, but has shown nothing eye opening, in both raw stuff and results. Very intriguing conversion to a reliever who might get a mid to high 90s fastball from this frame.  Should the Twins add him on the roster and do it?  In the expense of Pat Light or any of the other relievers who need protection?  I don't think so. Regardless whether he is selected or not, he should be in a bullpen next season.   This leaves us to Jason Wheeler whom the Twins protected in 2015, unprotected in 2016, and snubbed him for a call up, in a year he was pitching well in both AA and AAA, for the likes of Anrew Albers.  Terrible decision, but I hope that the change in the administration does the right thing and protects him, if for not other reason, because he is lefty and successful and he is second, after Adalberto Mejia, in the Twins LHSP depth chart.  This might change during the off-season if the Twins acquire a LHSP or two better than Mejia, and they should target that.  But until then, Wheeler is in, at least for 2017 to show what he can do.

Additions: Jorge, Romero, Wheeler

Relievers:

Luke Bard (R) 11/13/1990, A+/AA, 2016: 3.74 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 7.9 K/9 career:  3.23 ERA, 1.310 WHIP, 7.9 K/9
DJ Baxendale (R), 12/8/1990, As a RP only: AAA 2016: 1.29 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 10.3 K/9
Omar Bencomo (R) 2/10/1989, AA/AAA, 2016: 3.74 ERA, 1.352 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, career:  3.77 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, 6.7 K/9
Cameron Booser (L), 5/4/1992, A/A+, 2016: 8.53 ERA, 2.013 WHIP, 12.1 K/9, career:  4.32 ERA, 1.571 WHIP, 12.1 K/9
Alan Busenitz (R) 8/22/1990, AA/AAA, 2016: 3.54 ERA, 1.262 WHIP, 8.1 K/9 career:  3.55 ERA, 1.320 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 (might protect him for political reasons - he came in the Meyer/Nolasco trade, but there are better players)
C.K. Irby, (R), 5/6/1992, A, 2016: 2.42 ERA, 1.119 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 career:  3.56 ERA, 1.264 WHIP, 11.5 K/9
Zack Jones (R), 12/4/1990, AA/AAA, 2016: 3.47 ERA, 1.294 WHIP, 12.4 K/9 career:  2.97 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, 12.7 K/9
Brandon Peterson, (R), 9/23/1991, A+/AA, 2016: 3.30 ERA, 1.150 WHIP, 11.2 K/9 career:  2.41 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, 12.1 K/9
Brian Gilbert, (R), 8/9/1992, A+, 2016: 5.53 ERA, 2.024 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, career: 3.66 ERA, 1.439 WHIP, 6.6 K/9
Williams Ramirez, (R), 8/8/1992, A, 2016: 2.62 ERA, 1.055 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, career:  1.97 ERA, 1.038 WHIP, 10.1 K/9
Todd Van Steensel (R), 1/14/1991, A+/AA, 2016: 3.88 ERA, 1.324 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, career:  3.42 ERA, 1.291 WHIP, 9.7 K/9

This is a long list of 11 relievers, with only one of them (Booser) a lefty.  Booser had a disappointing season in both High A and A and will not be selected.  The same is true for Brian Gilbert. Bencomo is a last option type of player, and will not be selected. Van Steensel's season was not strong enough to get consideration.  C.K. Irby's was, however it was not at a high enough level.  The same for Williams Ramirez, but watch out if these two repeat their results in high A and/or AA in 2017.  Which brings us to Luke Bard, the Twins' former 1st round pick, who is about to turn 26, and had an average season, but has not been the same after losing 2014 recovering from shoulder surgery.  I think that this will be his last chance to prove that he belongs in the prospect conversation and I will not be surprised if it is not in the Twins' organization.  Alan Busenitz is an interesting case.  He pitched in AA and AAA with average results, that reflect the rest of his minor league career, but the Twins might protect him for political reasons, since he was acquired in the Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco trade that also brought Hector Santiago to the Twins.  Maybe the new administration will let the past go and would not protect him.  I wouldn't.  However, I would protect the most successful reliever in the Twins' minor league system, DJ Baxendale, who after transitioning to that role for Rochester upon his promotion from Chatanooga  excelled.  This leaves us two pitchers who might depart via the draft, and one last off-season:  Zach Jones and Brandon Peterson.  Got to add Pat Light to the conversation and it is two out of three.  I'd picke Jones and Light, risking Peterson's departure, mainly because he has played in more junior levels (only 16 games in AA) and might deemed less ready.  But it is a risk.

Additions: Baxendale, Jones.

Notable non-Rule 5 Draft-eligible at A+ and above:

Starters:

Stephen Gonsalves (L) 7/8/1994 A+/AA, 2016: 2.06 ERA, 1.021 WHIP, 10.0 K/9 career:  2.13 ERA, 1.072 WHIP, 9.7 K/9
Tyler Jay (L) 4/19/1994 A+/AA, 2016: 3.33 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 8.3 K/9 career:  3.44 ERA, 1.265 WHIP, 8.7 K/9
Kohl Stewart (R), 10/7/1994, A+/AA,  2016: 2.88 ERA, 1.343 WHIP, 5.7 K/9 career:  2.84 ERA, 1.284 WHIP, 5.9 K/9

Relievers:

Nick Burdi (R), 1/19/1993, AA, 2016: shut down after 3 games, career: 3.72 ERA, 1.322 WHIP, 12.6 K/9
Trevor Hildenberger (R), 12/15/1990, AA/A+, 2016: 0.75 ERA, 0.792 WHIP, 9.9 K/9 career:  1.47 ERA, 0.823 WHIP, 10.5 K/9
Jake Reed (R), 9/29/1992, AAA/AA,  2016: 3.57 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 9.2 K/9 career:  3.47 ERA, 1.130 WHIP, 8.8 K/9
Michael Theophanopoulos (L), 8/5/1992, A/A+,  2016: 2.20 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 11.6 K/9 career:  3.29 ERA, 1.351 WHIP, 10.5 K/9

As with the position players, all of the above, in addition to several Rule 5-eligible players who will remain with the Twins but not added to the roster, and hopefully several new young good players should be invited to the Twins 2017 Spring Training.

This leaves the modified Twins 40-man roster with 34 (33 (*) if Perkins is on the 60-day DL) spots and 6 (or 7) openings, which are enough for the Twins to be flexible in targeting acquisitions in trades and potentially shopping the Rule 5 draft and the waiver wire (and a reminder that they have the right of first refusal, because of the worst record in the majors, for both.)  Here is the modified roster:

DJ Baxendale 12/8/1990 (RHRP)
Jose Berrios 5/27/1994 (RHSP)
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993 (CF)
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989 (C)
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990 (RHRP)
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990 (RHRP)
Mitch Garver, 1/1/1991 (C)
Zach Granite, 9/17/1992 (OF)
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 (RHSP)
Zack Jones 12/4/1990 (RHRP)
Felix Jorge  1/2/1994 (RHSP)
Niko Goodrum, 2/28/1992 (SS/3B/CF)
Max Kepler 2/10/1993 (RF)
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994 (RHRP)
Pat Light 3/29/1991 (RHRP)
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 (1B/DH)
Trevor May 9/23/1989 (RHSP)
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993 (LHSP)
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991 (LHRP)
Amaurys Minier, 1/20/1996 (1B/OF)
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991 (C)
Daniel Palka, 10/28/1991 (OF)
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 (1B/DH)
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 (LHRP) (*)
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993 (SS)
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990 (LHRP)
Fernando Romero 12/24/1994(RHSP)
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991 (LF)
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994 (LHRP)
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993 (3B)
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990 (1B/DH)
Engelb Vielma, 6/22/1994 (SS)
Adam Walker 10/18/1991 (OF/DH)
Jason Wheeler 10/27/1990 (LHSP)


Next installment will be a critical view of the roster, assessing weaknesses and looking for potential positions that the Twins should target this off-season.


10/13/16

The Twins 40-man roster Part 1: Who should stay and who should go

After a historically bad season that resulted in the worst record of the Franchise in its current location, Twins' about to be minted (as soon as Cleveland's season is over) new chief baseball officer, Derek Falvey, will have his hands full in turning this team around.  I hope that he has enough flexibility to do a true rebuild.  And a true rebuild is to find enough young talented players that will reach their primes together, and then supplemented by star veterans to close holes as necessary, will compete for a long time.

Looking at the Twins' young talent and how their 40-man roster for 2017 should be built, young is an operating word.  Here is the current Twins' 40-man roster by age groups:  a. Players who will be 26 and younger on 1/1/2017 who should be part of the rebuilt; b. players who will be 28 or older who really do not belong in a rebuilding team, since they will be past their primes when the new Twins' core will reach their primes, and; c. players who are in-between.  The 27 year olds:

 The listing is alphabetical with birthdays

Andrew Albers 10/6/1985
James Beresford 1/19/1989
Jose Berrios 5/27/1994
Buddy Boshers 5/9/1988
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990
Pat Dean 5/25/1989
Brian Dozier 5/15/1987
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989
Kyle Gibson 10/23/1987
Robbie Grossman 9/16/1989
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 (60-day DL)
Max Kepler 2/10/1993
Brandon Kintzler 8/1/1984
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994
Pat Light 3/29/1991
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983
Trevor May 9/23/1989
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991
Tommy Milone 2/16/1987
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991
Ryan O'Rourke 4/30/1988
Byungho Park 7/10/1986
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983  (60-day DL)
Trevor Plouffe 6/15/1986
Ryan Pressly 12/15/1988
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994
Ervin Santana 12/12/1982
Hector Santiago 12/16/1987
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993
Logan Schafer 9/8/1986
Kurt Suzuki 10/4/1983
Michael Tonkin 11/19/1989
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990
Adam Walker 10/18/1991
Alex Wimmers 11/1/1988


These 42 players sorted in the 3 age groups:

Young enough:

Jose Berrios 5/27/1994  
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990
Max Kepler 2/10/1993
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994
Pat Light 3/29/1991
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990
Adam Walker 10/18/1991

Too old:

Andrew Albers 10/6/1985
Buddy Boshers 5/9/1988
Brian Dozier 5/15/1987
Kyle Gibson 10/23/1987
Phil Hughes 6/24/86
Brandon Kintzler 8/1/1984
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983
Tommy Milone 2/16/1987
Ryan O'Rourke 4/30/1988
Byungho Park 7/10/1986
Glen Perkins 3/2/83
Trevor Plouffe 6/15/1986
Ryan Pressly 12/15/1988
Ervin Santana 12/12/1982
Hector Santiago 12/16/1987
Logan Schafer 9/8/1986
Kurt Suzuki 10/4/1983
Alex Wimmers 11/1/1988

In between: 

James Beresford 1/19/1989
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989
Pat Dean 5/25/1989
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989
Robbie Grossman 9/16/1989
Trevor May 9/23/1989
Michael Tonkin 11/19/1989


Let's look at the in between and see who could potentially offer value:

James Beresford 1/19/1989
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989
Pat Dean 5/25/1989
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989
Robbie Grossman 9/16/1989
Trevor May 9/23/1989
Michael Tonkin 11/19/1989

Centeno, Escobar, and May can provide some value.  Centeno who might be the weakest of the 3, has options, so he does not preclude the team . So they stay.  Beresford, Dean, Grossman, and Tonkin are designated for assignment.

New Keeper list (with positions) :

Jose Berrios 5/27/1994 (SP)  
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993 (CF)
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989 (C)
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990 (RP)
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990 (RP)
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989 (IF)
Max Kepler 2/10/1993 (RF)
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994 (RP)
Pat Light 3/29/1991 (RP)
Trevor May 9/23/1989 (SP)
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993 (SP)
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991 (RP)
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991 (C)
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993 (SS)
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990 (RP)
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991 (LF)
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994 (RP)
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993 (3B)
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990 (1B)
Adam Walker 10/18/1991 (OF/DH)

Up to 20 total and most positions of the diamond taken care off.

Let's have a close look to the ones who are too old to belong to a rebuilding team, look into their contract situation, and add potential value to a trade partner:

Andrew Albers 10/6/1985  - no value
Buddy Boshers 5/9/1988  - maybe some value, one option left
Brian Dozier 5/15/1987 - signed until 2018, $15M owed, career season, strong value
Kyle Gibson 10/23/1987 - arbitration eligible, some value
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 - signed until 2019, $39.6M owed, major surgery
Brandon Kintzler 8/1/1984 - arbitration eligible, some value
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 - signed until 2018, $46M owed, declining
Tommy Milone 2/16/1987 - abitration eligible, no value
Ryan O'Rourke 4/30/1988 - no value
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 - signed until 2019, $9.3M owed, major investment
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 - signed until 2017, $7.2M owed
Trevor Plouffe 6/15/1986 - arbitration eligible, some value
Ryan Pressly 12/15/1988 - arbitration eligible, some value
Ervin Santana 12/12/1982 - signed until 2018 + option, $28M owed, close to career season, strong value
Hector Santiago 12/16/1987 - arbitration eligible, medium value
Logan Schafer 9/8/1986  - no value
Kurt Suzuki 10/4/1983 - free agent
Alex Wimmers 11/1/1988  - no value

The ones who do not have value, should go.  Suzuki will depart as a free agent, Albers, O'Rourke, Schafer, and Wimmers are designated for assignment, Milone is not offered arbitration.  The list trims to:


Buddy Boshers 5/9/1988  - maybe some value, one option left
Brian Dozier 5/15/1987 - signed until 2018, $15M owed, career season, strong value
Kyle Gibson 10/23/1987 - arbitration eligible, some value
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 - signed until 2019, $39.6M owed, major surgery
Brandon Kintzler 8/1/1984 - arbitration eligible, some value
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 - signed until 2018, $46M owed, declining
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 - signed until 2019, $9.3M owed, major investment
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 - signed until 2017, $7.2M owed, might not pitch again
Trevor Plouffe 6/15/1986 - arbitration eligible, some value
Ryan Pressly 12/15/1988 - arbitration eligible, some value
Ervin Santana 12/12/1982 - signed until 2018 + option, $28M owed, close to career season, strong value
Hector Santiago 12/16/1987 - arbitration eligible, medium value

The 3 players with most value, Ervin Santana, Brian Dozier, and Hector Santiago should be traded, and the Twins will receive value back, as there will be takers.  The remaining players are in two lists: the arbitration-eligible, and team control players with some value, and the under contract with major questionmarks.  The players in those 2 lists represent 2 opposite sides of the same coin

The arbitration, and team control eligible players:

Buddy Boshers 5/9/1988  - maybe some value, one option left
Kyle Gibson 10/23/1987 - arbitration eligible, some value
Brandon Kintzler 8/1/1984 - arbitration eligible, some value
Trevor Plouffe 6/15/1986 - arbitration eligible, some value
Ryan Pressly 12/15/1988 - arbitration eligible, some value

The Twins should try to trade these players and package them with Dozier, Santana, and Santiago to receive better value.  If no team values them enough to trade for them, the Twins should let them go.  So trade or non-tendering (of DFA in Bosher's situation,)  all 5 will not be Twins in 2017.

Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 - signed until 2019, $39.6M owed, major surgery
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 - signed until 2018, $46M owed, declining
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 - signed until 2019, $9.3M owed,+ $13M investment
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 - signed until 2017, $7.2M owed, might not pitch again

The Twins are stuck with these 4 players.  These contracts and their injury or aging situations make them undesirable for any team.  The best case scenario for the Twins is that they all return healthy in 2017, start the season with the team and build enough value to be tradeable during the season.  Perkins will likely not be ready and the Twins have the luxury to add him to the 60-day DL in the beginning of the reason and bring him back slowly if healthy though a series of minor league rehabs, so there is some flexibility there.

So from today's 40-man roster, only the following 24 players (and potentially 23 effectively with a Perkins to the 60-day DL (*) senario) will be there this off-season:

Jose Berrios 5/27/1994 (SP)  
Byron Buxton 12/18/1993 (CF)
Juan Centeno 11/16/1989 (C)
J.T. Chargois 12/3/1990 (RP)
Tyler Duffey 12/27/1990 (RP)
Phil Hughes 6/24/1986 (SP)
Eduardo Escobar 1/5/1989 (IF)
Max Kepler 2/10/1993 (RF)
Yorman Landa 6/11/1994 (RP)
Pat Light 3/29/1991 (RP)
Joe Mauer 4/19/1983 (1B/DH)
Trevor May 9/23/1989 (SP)
Adalberto Mejia 6/20/1993 (SP)
Mason Melotakis 6/28/1991 (RP)
John Ryan Murphy 5/13/1991 (C)
Byungho Park 7/10/1986 (1B/DH)
Glen Perkins 3/2/1983 (RP) (*)
Jorge Polanco 7/5/1993 (SS)
Taylor Rogers 12/17/1990 (RP)
Eddie Rosario 9/28/1991 (LF)
Randy Rosario 5/18/1994 (RP)
Miguel Sano 5/11/1993 (3B)
Kennys Vargas 8/1/1990 (1B/DH)
Adam Walker 10/18/1991 (OF/DH)

This would allow the Twins 16 spots to add several of their prospects for 2017 auditions as well as a good flexibility to include several trade returns.  This list is light on starting pitchers , but the assumption is that they will be targeted in trades and that their number will get supplemented by one or more of the existing prospects in the system.  One note. It is obvious that the Twins are heavy on the DH position.  Park, Mauer, and Vargas can rotate in the first base and DH role, with the ability to have either both lefties or righties, with Vargas being an switch hitter, in a platoon situation, depending on opposing pitchers.  Which means that Adam Walker should be available in a trade at this point.

In the next article of this series will look at who of the existing prospects should move in the 40-man roster to either protect them from the draft or to supplement the MLB-level talent.