Catching up

Not many news are expected this weekend (a travel weekend for many officials and reporters to the Winter Meetings in Vegas). A couple of interesting notes (and I am not going to harp on the the Gardy foot in the mouth situation and potential Delmon Young trade rumors or why the Twins should not give 3 years to Blake):

  • The Twins made the first blunder this off-season, releasing Randy Ruiz to reportedly open another spot on the 40 man roster. Readers of this space know who I feel about Randy Ruiz. It is bothersome that this comes from a team that has 5 catchers on the 40 man roster, re-singed the AARP-eligible Redmond as the back-up catcher for next season, and having several older career minor league non-prospects in that roster. Good luck Randy, you deserve a 25 man roster spot and you'll get it, but unfortunately not with the Twins. There are strong rumors about Ruiz going to Japan; we'll have to wait and see.

  • Apparently the shortstop market has become a buyer's market after the singing of Rentaria by the Giants and the trade for Greene by the Cardinals: The A's pulled off the table their offer to Furcal ($35-40M for 4 years). The Tigers are looking at Jack Wilson and Adam Everett, Orlando Cabrera is still out there as they are the lesser free agent shortstops (Alex Cora, Juan Uribe, Cesar Izturis et. al.). The Twins do have 2 internal options (3 if you add Plouffe), Steven Tolleson, who supplemented a great season in AA last year with a phenomenal AFL performance and Alejandro Machado who in his first year with the Twins' organization, after sitting all 2007 out with injuries, hit .338/.376/.472 in Rochester, primarily as a second baseman. Depending how the market goes, I would not be surprised if the Twins wait until late and if Furcal is available come January/February make him a 1-2 year contract offer. The Furcal situation also affects the Blake situation, because if the Dodgers sign Furcal, they will probably be out of the running for Blake, making the Twins the only team with an offer on the table.

  • I have been updating with signings my Minor League free agent potential target list. A couple of players have already singed with other clubs.

  • Meanwhile, it looks like, finally, the names "Wigginton" and "Twins" are being placed in the same sentence. Earlier (time flies, it has been almost 2 months), I suggested that Wiggington should be one of the 4 real targets for third base help this offseason. Speculation is that Wigginton might cost just prospects of the caliber the Padres received for Greene.


Gardy, Gardy, Gardy...

The latest from the manager of the millennium from the North Dakota Forum (you need to register for access), talking about his outfield:

“Those three guys (Gomez, Span and Cuddyer) need to play every day,” said Gardenhire, in Fargo to speak at an agricultural trade show. “Delmon is in the mix. He’s a hell of a player, a hell of a talent. But to me, those three guys should be your outfield and then you go from there.”

Why is that inane?

1. You should never make negative public statements about your players (and Gardy has been guilty of that many times). Did he really need to talk about his outfield in an "agricultural trade show"?

2. You should never say who is going to be your starting outfielder in December, before Spring training, before the roster is set. This smells prejudice and it is stupid not to only count but name your eggs before they hatch

3. Young outplayed both Gomez and Cuddyer last year a fact that Gardy either does not realize (which means he does not have baseball sense) or ignores (which means he is prejudiced).

Any way you cut it, it’s bad, but at least it happened in a proper forum (a bull trading show)

Gardy has already burned enough bridges with players arranging from superstar level (Ortiz) to serviceable+ major leaguers (Romero, Lohse) to budding stars (Garza, Liriano) with his bullheaded judgmental closedmindedness. And this organization rewarded him with a non-deserved extension. If he messes up with Young, it should be the last straw…