Twins Tidbits

3 Dec

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Plenty of rumors to follow, but nothing to really report, so here are just a few notes… Please remember to stop by later to see our NFL “Expert” Pick panel’s Week 13 Picks.

  • Yesterday afternoon, Kelly Thesier tweeted that Brian Buscher had signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. He was disappointing in 2009. However, he played so infrequently, that expecting much of anything would not be fair. I thought in 2008, he was solid. He doesn’t take a ton of walks, but he does seem to take pitches and put together solid at bats. No matter how you look at it, to get a guy to contribute in three big league seasons in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft is incredible.
  • Cleveland also signed Luis Rodriguez to a minor league deal. I was always a fan of Luis(!). As you can see, he is the one player in Twins history to get the one-name name recognition, including an exclamation point! Although he was never top 30 of 40 prospect, I liked that he was just solid throughout his minor league career. He always walked as often or more than he struck out. He hit doubles. He then spent 2005-2007 as a utility player with the Twins. Over that time, he hit a combined .243/.316/.323. He has been in San Diego the last two years, getting time as their starting shortstop a couple of times. In 2008, he hit a respectable .287/..326/.351. In 2009, however, he fell to .202/.319/.260. However, in those two years with the Padres, he walked 50 times while striking out just 36 times. He isn’t a terrific athlete for an infielder, and he isn’t quick. On defense, his range was well below average. But I’m not going to apologize for being a fan of Luis(!).
  • The Twins made the decision late Tuesday night to offer arbitration to Carl Pavano, a move that was the easy and right choice. The Twins will want a veteran starter in 2010. Pavano is that. The Twins have some wiggle room in spending. So, if Pavano decides to accept arbitration, the two sides will submit their numbers and determine how much he will be paid in 2010. I can’t imagine he would get the rumored $10 million, but I think $7-8 million would make sense. Although I’m not a huge fan of bringing back Pavano, the one year deal means that it won’t hurt the Twins over the long haul. If he declines arbitration and signs elsewhere, the Twins will get a valuable supplemental first round draft pick
  • As I mentioned yesterday, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion on Danny Valencia and Winter ball. Valencia is going to Puerto Rico, but he will be playing for Mayaguez, not Ponce. Also, he will be heading down there on December 10th.
  • When I mentioned the other day that Joe Mauer’s decision to sign with IMG for off-field representation, I said it was a non-story. But Marty Andrade told me I was wrong saying “it means his autograph is about to get really scarce and probably increase in value 50% over the next few years.” 
  • Twins Target posted his #9 Twins Prospect.

Alright, that is it for today. Are there any other Twins topics of note? If so, Send me an e-mail, or leave your Comments here.


7 Responses to “Twins Tidbits”

  1. Jesse December 3, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Please elaborate. Athletes who are represented by IMG don’t sign autographs? Does that mean he won’t be signing at Twins Fest anymore or just when he is approached in public?

  2. mike wants wins December 3, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    How is offering him the easy, right choice, if you don’t want him back?

    As for the merits of bringing him back, his ERA was the worst of any AL starting pitcher that qualified for the ERA title. Now, that is somewhat misleading, imo, as he had a couple of terrible outings that, when averaged in, hurt his ERA. If you look at quality starts (which is more important than average runs allowed – I want a guy that gives me chances to win), he wasn’t terrible. He was 16th in the AL in number of quality starts. Not great, not terrible. He gives his team a chance to win some games (though when he’s bad, he’s really bad).

    I’d be ok with bringing him back, but if he’s the only pitching “add”, I’ll be disappointed. He’s a number 3/4 type right now (at best). I still want them to roll the dice on Sheets’ health.

  3. Joel Thingvall December 3, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Pavano – If he stays healthy can always be a trading chip. To be the veteran who eats innings at the back of the rotation…maybe he IS better than Livain, Sir Sid and Ramon.

    I believe most players, even if they sign big marketing deals, have a rider-of-sorts when it comes to participating in charity events (which the TwinsFest and Autograph Party are considered). So, the lines will just be longer in Mauer land than ever before.

    The nice thing about the Twins events — even those guys who don’t sign end up signing, so us “fanboys” can complete our sets, Twins image collections, balls and bats, or signature hobby horse. Just need line patience.

    Luis Rodriguez is/was the Dinkelman/Singleton of his time. There’s jobs for reserve infielders. Sometimes a short stop at starting — i.e. Augie Ojeda. Hey, Maza even made it to the bigs! The pain is the price. In Minnesota, Harris is expensive (but Punto isn’t?). Is Tolbert a better choice than, say, Rodriguez? If you have one vet as a reserve, can you try a rookie (hello Tolleson or Plouffe). Where does it leave bubble guys like…Casilla…

    May Brian Buscher be the next Casey Blake!

  4. Marty Andrade December 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    To clarify:

    Athletes who sign with IMG are notorious for being difficult signatures. Normally IMG contracts prevent athletes from signing game-used items and they often won’t sign bats. So, if you have the chance to get a game-used signed Joe Mauer item, buy it now.

    Mauer will still likely sign at Twinsfest and the autograph party.

    • Marty Andrade December 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

      Of course, I may be wrong.

  5. Rick December 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Seth, listened to your podcast today. You, Travis and Hugo were all higher on Felipe Lopez then Orlando Hudson. I just don’t get it. Hudson’s numbers are consistently very good. Lopez has been up and down his whole career. Why all the love for Lopez over Hudson or Palanco for that matter. He would be my third choice out of the three. Of course if the Twins signed any of them I would be happier then having Punto play everyday.

  6. Kunza December 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    There is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO way the Twins sign any player of significance this offseason.

    There has not been a track record for this so why should it change now. Everyone must stop kidding themselves. Our roster is basically set.

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