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I received word that the Twins have signed a few minor league free agents. None are terribly exciting, but each has had at least a little bit of Major League time, and who knows, given the right set of circumstances, could get there again. Will it be with the Twins in 2009? Well, we shall see. They are:
Luis Matos – The former big-time OF prospect of the Baltimore Orioles. He spent at least part of each season between 2000 and 2006 with the O’s. Matos has been a journeyman the last couple of years. After being released by the O’s in July of 2006, he signed with the Nationals where he got 15 at bats in 14 games before being released. He split 2007 between the AAA affiliates of the Pirates and Mets. He did not receive an offer for the 2008 season, so he played in Mexico, for the Yucatan Leones. He is currently playing in Puerto Rico where he has been quite impressive this winter. Matos was once the CF of the future for the Orioles. He is now a journeyman 30 year old outfielder. In reality, the Twins probably just hope that he can come close to producing for Rochester as well as the recently departed Darnell McDonald did (McDonald signed with the Reds last week).
Bobby Keppel – Keppel was the 1st round pick of the New York Mets in 2000 out of high school. He started in the Appalachian League and basically moved up one level a year until he finally made his big league debut in 2006 at the age of 23 for the Kansas City Royals. In 34.1 innings, he gave up 45 hits and walked 15. He moved to the Rockies in 2007. He started 23 games in AAA before getting four relief appearances in Colorado. In four innings, he gave up six hits and walked three more. He spent 2008 in the Marlins AAA rotation, in Albuquerque, where he went 9-11 with a 5.99 ERA. In 159.1 innings, he gave up 208 hits and walked another 57. He struck out just 85. It is pretty difficult to get too excited about this signing. He is still just 26 years old with big league experience. I would imagine that he could fight for a spot in the Rochester starting rotation.
Sean Henn – Henn was the 30th round pick of the New York Yankees in 1999. At 24, he made his big league debut in the Bronx in 2005 by making three starts and going 0-3 with a 11.12 ERA. In 2006, he got into four more games for eth Yankees. In 2007, he pitched in 29 games for the Yankees and went 2-2 with a 7.12 ERA in 36.2 innings. He began the 2008 season in the Yankees organization but was released and claimed by the San Diego Padres. He got into four games for the Padres. He walked nine and struck out nine in 9.1 innings of relief. Henn is a 27 year old, 6-5 lefty that could start for the Red Wings but could also work out of the team’s bullpen.
Again, I don’t think any of these three players will being the 2009 season with the Twins. They provide depth to the organization. Any thoughts? Leave your comments here.