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1/21/12

Breaking development in the Roy Oswalt situation

Just in the last half an hour both Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies sources, indicate that Marco Scutaro will be traded to the Rockies, likely for Clayton Mortensen. Even though Clayton Mortensen is a starter, indications are that the Boston Red Sox are dumping the $6 million salary of Scutaro to pursue Roy Oswalt. Stay tuned.

Edit 6:12 PM EDT. The deal is done

1/20/12

Friday update on Roy Oswalt

There have been some news today, mainly from Cleveland and Boston so I am presenting and update of what has been happening on Roy Oswalt the last day or so. This is the fourth update, and you can find them all here. This is what we learned since the last update:


  • It has been quiet from the Twins' front as far as news about Roy Oswalt go. On the other hand, radio, TV, and print media reporters in the Twin Cities, pretty much voice a uniform opinion that the "Twins are done" making transactions.

  • The Cleveland Indians acquired former Twins SP Kevin Slowey from the Rockies for 24 year old RHP Zach Puntam who is ranked the Indians' 10th best prospect by Baseball America; this will quell the rumors that Cleveland might be interested in Oswalt or Jake Westbrook (freeing a spot for the Cardinals to acquire Oswalt), to mitigate the Fausto Carmona situation. This trade really shows that Terry Ryan blew it in the Colorado trade because what he received was much less than what Colorado received (but this is a different story.)

  • The Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals,New York Yankees were mentioned in an MLB.com video, by Jim Duquette and Fred McGriff as potential landing places for Roy Oswalt, but it is all speculative. On the other hand, Jerry Cransnick included the Blue Jays (and the Mariners) to the list of the teams interested in Jeff Francis., which make their supposed interest in Oswalt less

  • The Boston Red Sox seem to be focusing on Gavin Floyd who will be cheaper, because as is they cannot afford Oswalt, per Boston Herald's Scott Lauber. This opinion has been voiced by several people connected to the Red Sox. Ian Browne, also at the MLB.com, took it a step further and said that "at this stage, it doesn't seem like there will be any big changes before pitchers and catchers report to camp on Feb. 19" for the Red Sox. Gordon Edes from ESPNBoston.com agrees. On the other hand, Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald suggests that the Red Sox are still in contact with Oswalt. Speaking of the Red Sox, you can find a great analysis on their payroll situation and Luxury tax implications at the Fire Brand, written by Chip Buck, so make your own conclusions about how much flexibility they have. Edit: Troy Renck indicates that the Red Sox are close to trading Marco Scutero to the Rockies which will free $6M off their 2012 payroll. This might just be enough for them to pursue Roy Oswalt. Re-edit: According to Troy Renck the Scutaro to the Rockies trade is dead. So that leaves the Red Sox where there were before

  • The Chicago White Sox seem to be out of it

  • Philadelphia Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock at 97.3 ESPN South Jersey this afternoon mentioned that the Phillies have enough starting pitcing and Roy Oswalt "would be a long shot", regardless having lower demands right now.



If there are any more news on Roy Oswalt, I will update here.

1/19/12

Update on Twins' and other MLB teams' interest on Roy Oswalt

I last gave an update on the full picture surrounding Roy Oswalt a couple days ago, and there has been some additional information, so I think that an update is in order. I will maybe do those daily if new information is out, or just do small update posts when new tidbits appear. So stick around. This is what we also know today about the Oswalt situation:

  • It has been quiet from the Twins' front. And Darren Wolfson that Roy Oswalt's agent took the fifth when asked about discusions with the Twins. We do know that the 40-man roster is full to the brim as is the alleged $99 million budget limit, but these things are easily changeable.

  • I posted earlier today about the word out of St. Louis, stating the St. Louis Cardinals' interest, so there is smoke there, but I am not sure that the Cardinals can move that fast.

  • There have been different Rumors involing the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners, but these are just rumors and Roy Oswalt's name is always listed with Edwin Jackson's, so I would not pay way too much attention to those.

  • The Atlanta Braves seem to out of it

  • The Kansas City Royals look like they are all but out on Oswalt (and any other starting pitcher) as well

  • The Cleveland Indians might be in play, depending how the Fausto Carmona nee Roberto Hernandez Heredia works itself out. But as of now, there is not even smoke from Cleveland, other than an an opinion piece at Bleacher Report

This is the situation as it stands today... if something noteworthy arises I will update.

Quick note: A new (old) team in the Oswalt pursuit?

B.J. Rains who covers the St Louis Cardinals at FOXSportsMidwest.com has just indicated that the Cardinals are potentially looking into trading one of Lohse or Westbrook to clear salary (and rotation) space for Roy Oswalt. Things might move really fast now that the Texas Rangers have signed Yu Darvish. Everything is quiet from the Twins' front, but if they move fast with a 2-year deal, they can be winners in the pursuit of Oswalt.

1/17/12

Will the Twins sign Roy Oswalt? What we know.

Originally I was going to post this tomorrow, so please change the "today" to "tomorrow" and the "yesterday" to "today". I am rushing it for one day, because I have a feeling that dominoes will start falling in place sooner than later.

So here is what we know about the interest of MLB teams on Roy Oswalt, pretty much as of now:

The Boston Red Sox are still talking to him, as of Monday. On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago Nick Cafardo reported that Oswalt was out of the Red Sox' price range, but listed the New York Yankees (unlikely after the Kuroda signing and their recent trade with the Mariners acquiring Pineda) and the St. Louis Cardinals as potentially interested parties. The news that the Red Sox do not have enough money to sign Roy Oswalt without shedding salary was confirmed by the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday as well (based on a report by the Boston radio station WEEI.) Speaking of the Cardinals interest a couple weeks ago, things have been fairly quiet and there have been no other reports of interest the last couple weeks. (I am not counting opinions and hopes and shoulds as "reports".)

The Texas Rangers have been reported to "eye" Oswalt last week, but whether they will continue to be interested, if they sign Yu Darvish, it has yet to be determined, but they are looking to offer only an one-year deal. Yesterday it was reported at the mlb.com site, that Oswalt is a back up plan for the Rangers in case they do not sign Darvish. The deadline for signing Darvish is today at 5 PM EDT.

Tom Singer (national reporter for MLB.com) yesterday wrote that Oswalt is being evaluated as possible bullpen depth by some suitors. Also, it was reported by Buster Olney that Oswalt is looking for an one year deal around $8M. If a team offers him to start and a two-year deal, it will probably have the upper hand, I suspect. This is how the Twins come to play:

A couple weeks ago (January 5th) it was mentioned, by you know who that the Twins were talking to Roy Oswalt. On January 13th Lindsay Guentzel confirmed that the Twins are talking to Oswalt and a couple days later she suggested that the Twins are discussing a 2-year, $17M contract. I think that if all of that is true, the Twins have good possibility to "steal" Oswalt from contenders, in the same manner they "stole" Zumaya (they were the only team to offer him a an MLB deal.) So if they give Oswald a starting role, a 2-year (vs 1-year) contract with higher annual value that he is allegedly asking, he could be a Twin by the end of the week.

I do expect the dominoes to fall after today's 5PM EDT time that the Darvish signing is due, of when a Darvish decision happens (which ever comes first.) Also, with the Zumaya signing, the Twins' 40-man roster is full, so expect a corresponing move.

Random Tuesday: Twins Thoughts and Tidbits

Here is this week's installment:


  • Apparently, the Twins beat out the defending AL Champions in signing Joel Zumaya. Seems that Zumaya was atop of the Padres' wish list as well. The reaction of both the press and the fans in the Twin Cities about the signing was, surprisingly, mixed. I think that the down side is minimal and the upside is so huge, which makes this a no-brainer. I just hope there is an incentives-based option clause there.

  • If you want to follow the Dominican winter league games live, there is a TV stream of each game (in Spanish, of course) from the home page of the league located here. Just look at the scoreboard to the upper right of the page and click on the TV symbol to take you to the live stream. And it is free, but fairly uninspiring quality, but it is baseball in January. MLB.tv eat your heart out. And, speaking of the Winter Leagues, here you can find the stats for (most of and some not anymore) Twins' players in the various winter leagues, so you can ooooh and aaaaah about the performance of players like Aaron Bates, Alexi Casilla, Luke Hughes, Nelvin Fuentes, Deolis Guerra, Lester Oliveros, Louis Perdomo and others...

  • From the numbers' department: Forty (40). This is the grant total of games that Jack Morris played wearing a Twins' uniform. Forty two (42). This is the grant total of games that Jack Morris played against the Twins wearing a Tigers, Jays or Indians uniform. For reference, Jim Thome (a long time AL-Central player) played 182 games for the Twins and 191 games against the Twins. So, I'd say that Thome is as much a Twin as Jack Morris, which is not much, other than the broadcasting thing and hailing from the Cities, for the latter...

  • Prom the plagiarism or copying is the best compliment department: It is interesting to see that Terry Ryan also thinks that there are lots of parallels between Trevor Plouffe, and Mike Cuddyer, unless he first read it here, a couple months ago. (Just kidding... the parallels are to easy to spot from 100 feet away.)

  • From the Meet the Press Department: The Sporting News' Stan McNeal picks the Twins to finish 4th at best at the division. Methinks, let the 25 man roster get final before you make predictions, especially for clubs you don't see every day. Also CBSsports started making fantasy predictions for the 2012 Twins, indicating that Joe Mauer will have a bounce back season, Scott Baker a breakout season and Ryan Doumit will be a sleeper.



Today's parting shot is of the Twins' Winter Caravan edition, which started yesterday making its first stops at Sauk Centre, MN, Glenwood, MN and Detroit Lakes, MN. The participants were: Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Ron Gardenhire, Joe Vavra, Cory Provus. Everyone knows who the first three are, mostly everyone wants to forget about the 4th, but who is Cory Provus, and can he play shortstop? Apparently not. He is the newest Twins' radio broadcaster, former Brewers radio broadcaster, and I am certain that the Twins' fans are lining up to pay $6 to get his autograph. For some reason the Twins think that this might be the case... This is what Cory Provus looks like:


1/16/12

How Baseball and Poker Compare in Fan Excitement

Baseball is a game famous for long periods of inactivity followed by moments of high drama and excitement. A team is held scoreless for several innings and then you hear the crack of the bat and the crowd erupts as a ball is sent sailing over the bleachers. Another game that has been gaining in popularity worldwide has many of the same characteristics as baseball, and that is the game of poker. Let's look at some of the similarities.

You may not realize this based on televised productions of poker or reports from sites like Pokerlistings.com (such as this article), but many poker tournaments have long periods of inactivity similar to baseball. At time, play can go on for hours where you may see nothing but a pre-flop raise or someone bet out of the pot on the flop.

Then suddenly, a big pot starts to brew between two players and one of them goes all-in. The other players call and players railing the game are all of a sudden on their feet and trying to see what hands the two players have. Then, the fans of a particular play will start screaming for the card their player needs or for their player's hand to hold. When the turn or river card hits, the crowd erupts into either cheers or groans depending on the outcome for their player. It is definitely high drama for the fans watching.

However, the fan experience is not the only thing similar between the two sports. Poker, much like baseball, involves a huge amount of strategy. For example, players must act as their own coach and scout all during the play of a game. They have to constantly evaluate their opponents’ play and try to spot any weaknesses much the same as the coaches do during game day.

Also, every hand can present different situations much like baseball. Depending on the ability of your opponent and how the hand is unfolding, you must adjust your strategy and sometimes try new plays. Much like the great managerial minds in baseball, poker players must always be thinking at the table. Otherwise, they will get run over by the better players.

As you can see, there are definitely similarities between baseball and poker. However, one big difference in the two games is that when people reach their 40's, they can still play poker at a high level. That's not as easy to do with baseball. Of course, you can't take your 10 year old to a poker room and watch the greats of poker like you can with baseball. One thing that remains the same in both are their passionate fans that will hang on every pitch or every turn of a card.



This is an interesting point of view that I have not thought about before... This post was written by Andrew Perry, a professional Poker player and a very big fan of Baseball

1/15/12

5 little known facts (and a couple videos) about Twins' Joel Zumaya

It leaked earlier today that the Twins have signed Joel Zumaya to a non-guaranteed one year major league contract that will pay him a minimum of $800,000 and a maximum of $1.7 million if he reaches incentives based on appearances, pending a physical that will take place the coming Thursday or Friday. A non-guaranteed MLB contract works pretty much like this: The player is added to the 40-man roster and the team has until the end of Spring Training to decide whether or not to keep him. If the do not keep him, he is a free agent and allowed to sign any type of contract with any team (including a minor league contract with the team that cut him.) I do like this signing for a lot of reasons, especially the huge upside and the absolute zero risk for the Twins. But I am not going to get much into numbers or details, but instead I will present 5 little known facts and a couple videos about Joel Zumaya:


  • His full name is Joel Martin Zumaya and he was born in California (Chula Vista, which is dead smack on the Mexican border - his family hails from Mexico- south of San Diego, the other side of Tijuana, and grew up a Padres' fan.), but his nickname has been Joel "Zoom zoom" Zumaya. And he turned 27 last November 9th. His father's name is also Joel (his mother's is Yvonne) so he could have been a "Junior".

  • His fastball topped out at 104.8 mph when cameras were introduced to measure velocity in Pitch fx. His highest stadium gun recorded pitch was an 104 mph pitch thrown against Twins' Nick Punto in Comerica Park on August 7th 2006.

  • Zumaya has been injury-prone, but his biggest injury was when sidelined in the 2006 ALCS with a sore wrist, apparently caused by playing Guitar Hero

  • In the past, Zumaya used to subsribe to the Miguel Cabrera lifestyle. Hope these days are over. Here is Zumaya's video response at The Detroit News about Cabrera's issues (at the 1:33 mark.)

  • Zumaya has been wearing uniform number 54. This number has been (sort of) claimed by Phil Dumatrait for the Twins for the time being, and up until recently it belong to Matt Guerrier.



Zumaya apparently has made at least one TV ad, and not for Mazda (Zoom Zoom, that's coming next) :



and that injury has not discouraged him from playing Guitar Hero: