Friday Links and Thinks

7 Jan

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

I have not blogged too much this week, or really the last couple of weeks. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, there simply is not a lot going on with the Twins, or hasn’t been. Second, I am working with a couple of other Twins bloggers to finish up the Minnesota Twins 2011 Prospect Handbook. It’s getting close. Obviously my hope is for it to get better and better each year. I don’t know if it will be quite the same as last year’s version, but I think that the content will be terrific. Again, the meat and potatoes will be the profiles. There will be over 150 prospect profiles on players throughout the Twins farm system. Josh Johnson is helping me with some of those. There will again be several articles by myself, but also articles from Josh, Travis Aune and a couple of others. Anyway, hopefully I will have a lot more information on the book in a week or so. Finally, John Bonnes and the TwinsCentric guys, with the help of several terrific writers, are putting the final touches on the Twins 2011 Annual with the Maple Street Press. It will again be available on news stands around the Upper Midwest, but you will also be able to order online a little earlier. Like last year, it will be about 120 pages of ad-free Twins content. What’s not to like about that!? I’ve written a few Twins player profiles, a big article on the top Twins prospects by position, and a fun article on Elizabethton’s success and specifically on manager Ray Smith who is a very interesting person. I’m really happy with that project.

So I do apologize for lack of content here. It hasn’t been due to laziness! Believe me! Today, here are a few thoughts and links for you to read and consider:

Carl Pavano Situation

On Wednesday early evening, I was sitting around when an idea popped into my head. I should have blogged it to prove its true, but there are a few Twins bloggers that I talked to about it. I said that Carl Pavano would have an agreement with the Twins by Friday. I actually spelled it out like this. First, the Twins would let absolutely nothing leak on the day that Bert Blyleven got into the Hall of Fame, and they wouldn’t let anything leak on Thursday when the Baseball Hall of Fame was hosting Blyleven and Roberto Alomar in Cooperstown. I said, that I bet that later in the day on Thursday, someone would tweet that the Twins and Carl Pavano are close on a two year deal. I said that it would not be made official then until an announcement on Friday. Well, at about 8:00 on Thursday night, FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted, “Sources: #Twins closing in on Pavano. Deal expected to be for two years.” I guess we shall see what happens tomorrow, but it all does make sense.

What is the reasoning for my gut feeling on the situation? Well, there were several things really. The first was simply that Pavano and his agent overplayed their hand. At this point, they had really no options. Bill Smith played it perfectly again. The only teams interested in Pavano seem to be the Twins, the Pirates and the Royals. If Pavano is the competitor that we saw in 2010, then it should be easy to determine which of those teams he would sign with. And at this point, why not just sign? What is the value of waiting any longer. He isn’t getting that third year that he so desperately wanted. Pavano’s birthday is Saturday. Suddenly he will go from a 34 year old free agent pitcher to a 35 year old starting pitcher. Obviously teams aren’t dumb enough to alter their thinking based on one day, but it also is a milestone that Pavano would likely want to sign before. It just makes sense for Pavano, and for the Twins, it will just be nice to have it done, and have that piece in place in the starting rotation.

Starting last July, I started getting the question about whether or not I would bring back Pavano. I answered several times in this blog, and it came up a lot on podcasts. I said I would offer Pavano two years and $18 million and leave it up to him. If he signed for that, it would be a fair deal. Anything more than that, I’d happily take the draft picks. Well, it is now starting to look like that would be a good place to put the Over/Under for a Pavano deal. According to Jon Heyman, the Twins increased their offer to Pavano to two years just yesterday. He made $7 million in 2010. He earned a raise, but I can’t imagine that he will get to the $10 million range that we all thought was a given at the start of the offseason. I think that 2 years and $18 million is pretty realistic. In fact, I think it could be as low as two years and $16 million. For financial reasons, I would not be surprised if he makes less money in 2011 and more in 2012.

No, the deal is not done. Nothing has been confirmed, but there is little reason to think that it won’t happen, that it isn’t imminent.

Jim Thome Situation

Does signing Pavano affect the Twins decision to bring back Jim Thome? It could. However, if Thome is truly looking to make $8 million in 2011, then the Pavano decision has nothing to do with not bringing Thome back. The Twins have made a concerted effort to add speed to the lineup, and they need a right-handed bat to counter all of their left-handed batters, and because they traded one of their right-handed hitters. So, really… how much sense does it really make to bring Thome back anyway? That’s not to say bringing him back would be bad. Not at all. I mean, the bench needs some pop, and Thome provided that. There are so many intangible reasons to bring him back. But a right-handed, power bat who could actually play some defense, would be a much better fit. Man, Matt Diaz would have been perfect!

Twins Fest – Sold Out

I got a press release yesterday morning saying that Twins Fest was sold out. I knew that the Twins were encouraging people to order in advance, something I’ve typically done, but I was surprised to see that announcement. The National Sports Complex in Blaine is huge, but it isn’t quite as convenient as the Metrodome would be. I still plan on going. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get into the event. I’ll find a way!

Blog Spotting

As mentioned many times, there are a lot of terrific Twins blogs out there. So even if I don’t blog, you can still get plenty of great Twins content, and more. Be sure to check back here throughout the weekend for more and more blogs worth reading.

NFL “Expert” Picks Champion, LaVelle E. Neal!

Well, the NFL “Expert” Picks finished up last weekend after Week 17. I want to thank those who participated. With over 30 people making picks each week, it became too much work, so it likely will be the final year of the contest. Below are the final results and standings. Congratulations to the Star Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal for dominating the competition this year! He had five more games right than any other person and was correct nearly 67% of the time. Chris Parmelee led all Twins players by accurately predicting almost 65% of the games in 2010. Andrew Bryz-Gornia led Twins bloggers with 164 correct picks. Last year’s champion, Dan Slowey, finished in fourth place, tied with Doogie Wolfson. Again, thanks to all of the below for participating. Please take a minute and visit some of the blogs listed below.

    Overall
    Wins Losses Percent
LaVelle Neal Star Tribune 171 85 66.80%
Chris Parmelee Twins 1B Prospect 166 90 64.84%
Andrew Bryz-Gornia Off the Mark 164 92 64.06%
Dan Slowey Blogonoscopy 163 93 63.67%
Darren Wolfson Twins Wrap 163 93 63.67%
Missy Lien   163 93 63.67%
Cody Christie NoDak Twins Fan 161 95 62.89%
Jack Michaels ESPN 710am, Bismarck 161 95 62.89%
Jeff Manship Twins Pitcher 161 95 62.89%
Summary   161 95 62.89%
BJ Hermsen Twins SP Prospect 159 97 62.11%
Kyle Waldrop Twins RP Prospect 158 82 65.83%
Mike Brasel   158 98 61.72%
Cory Hepola WROC-TV, Rochester, NY 157 99 61.33%
Blake Meyer Twins Cards 156 100 60.94%
Andrew Kneeland Twins Target 155 101 60.55%
Emily Jipp Cheap Seats Chatter 155 101 60.55%
Seth Stohs SethSpeaks.net 155 101 60.55%
Travis Aune Travis Twins Talk 153 103 59.77%
Anthony Maggio FSNorth.com 152 90 62.81%
Kirsten Brown K-Bro Baseball 152 104 59.38%
Roger Dehring Twinkie Town 146 110 57.03%
Judd Spicer City Pages 145 111 56.64%
Vic Quick KOTA-TV Rapid City, SD 139 101 57.92%
Topper Anton Curve for a Strike 136 104 56.67%
Steve Blevins Twins RP Prospect 135 82 62.21%
Phil Mackey 1500ESPN.com 131 77 62.98%
Seth Kaplan Fox 9 – TV (Twin Cities) 131 43 75.29%
Shawn Berg On the Road with Shawn 126 86 59.43%
Kyle Gibson Twins SP Prospect 117 91 56.25%
Josh Johnson Josh’s Thoughts 114 66 63.33%
Dan Osterbrock Twins SP Prospect 106 78 57.61%
John Meyer Twins MVB 106 59 64.24%
Matt Fox Red Sox Pitcher 98 52 65.33%
Dan Wade BB Daily Digest 96 52 64.86%
Alex Burnett Twins Pitcher 95 59 61.69%
Nate Hanson Twins IF Prospect 94 73 56.29%
Matt Schuld Twins P Prospect 85 63 57.43%
Kevin Slowey Twins Pitcher 73 48 60.33%

Any thoughts? Feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.

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One Response to “Friday Links and Thinks”

  1. roger January 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Hey Seth, I am going to pencil Pavano into my roster. Two years at $8.5mm per, no option.

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