Interesting Decisions…

9 Feb

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Alright, it started with the Twins announcing that Greg Gagne would become the 22nd member of the Twins Hall of Fame. I’m a big Gagne fan, but Hall of Famer?? How is Chuck Knoblauch not in the Twins Hall of Fame?

Then we heard that Jacque Jones was signed by the Twins to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since early in the 2008 season when the Tigers released him. But not a big deal, I always liked Jacque. Great guy. Underrated player for several years with the Twins. Couldn’t hit lefties, but he was fun to watch. I have no problem with signing him and giving him a shot. No problem at all.

But then it was announced (by a tweet from the great Kelly Thesier) that the Mets had claimed Jason Pridie. So, currently, the outfield depth on the Twins 40 man roster is Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer. And although he is listed as a DH, Jason Kubel is there too.

I am a little surprised that Pridie was put on waivers. I don’t think he’s very good, but he provided the Twins with what they needed out of 5th outfielder. Great speed. Great defense. And some pop in his bat when he actually did make contact. But I’m far from heart-broken that he is now gone.

But now who is the Twins 5th outfielder? Could Jones really be an option for that role? Could Willy Taveras be an option as a 5th outfielder at least minimum? Could Rene Tosoni be an option?

Does this mean they couldn’t find a taker for Glen Perkins, Alexi Casilla or Matt Tolbert?

I expect more is brewing in the Twins front office. But what? Your guess is as good as mine!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or leave them in the Comments section.


27 Responses to “Interesting Decisions…”

  1. J February 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    If the Twins were looking for a veteran, why not Darin Erstad? Yes, he is on the downside of his career. But here is a guy who won 3 Gold Gloves at 3 different positions (LF, CF, and 1B), the only player in history to do that. He is a ND native, and has been a backup the past few years so he knows the pinch-running, pinch-hitting, defensive replacement routine. He also gives the Twins a solid backup 1B, instead of using Cuddyer or Thome. The Twins are big on having good clubhouse guys, and everybody says that Erstad is the ultimate clubhouse guy. I know Jones probably won’t make the club, but I’m still hoping the Twins give Erstad a shot.

  2. roger February 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Wow, that is a surprise. Like you, doesn’t bother me a great deal as I don’t see Pridie being the regular center fielder if Span went down for a few weeks or month. Expect they will be looking for someone to come into camp that is better. Or maybe, just maybe, could there be anything to what they hinted at that some believe Revere is close to being ready? Does this mean they will now invite Dustin Martin to spring training? Maybe they have always believed he was as good, just downplayed it.

  3. roger February 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Forgot to mention my last thought. Do they have a deal worked out for Perkins with a solid 4th OF/centerfielder in the deal, but the other team just wants to see him pitch for a week?

  4. j-sin February 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    No whining about Toby Gardy here. He played SS for the Northwoods League, and all reports are that the reason he is invited to camp is to catch bullpens for all the pitchers. Not taking innings away, just to save some catching legs for the regular catchers. Most mature bloggers seem to understand that.

  5. j-sin February 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Roger, that sounds like a possibility. Since we’ve signed Hudson, I have a lot more trust in our FO, and figure they know what they’re doing by letting Pridie go. They wouldn’t do it unless they had other options. There are obviously other options (Taveras, Erstad, etc) as mentioned above.

    Anyone note that the Orioles release Gabino? We can have him back now!

  6. mini_tb February 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I’ll pass on Darin Erstad!! Those offensive numbers are just plain offensive.

  7. Nathan Gau February 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Toby was in spring training last year too. I don’t have a problem with it. I have a problem with it if he makes the team.

  8. J February 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    I understand that Erstad didn’t hit last year, but he wouldn’t be getting a lot of at-bats as a 4th OF (basically a 5th OF when you count Kubel).

  9. mike wants wins February 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Wow. I can’t believe they have no one to play center field now if Span is hurt. Just, wow. Heck, they don’t really have anyone to play the OF at all now, when they PH Thome for one of them. Hopefully they have a better plan than they did for 3B last year….because they had no plan for when Crede was hurt (though at least Harris/Punto/Tolbert were legitimate options).

  10. Seth February 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    First, Pridie was just claimed.
    Second, they’ll get someone else.
    Third, it likely won’t be Jacque Jones.
    Fourth, maybe this is a message to Mr. Revere, that if Denard gets hurt for an extended period, it’s his job?
    Fifth, Rene Tosoni could play CF for a couple of weeks.
    Sixth, Willy Taveras, Endy Chavez, fast, good D outfielders are readily available. It’s not like Jason Pridie was a good option for daily duty.

    • thrylos98 February 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

      I agree about Pridie not really being an option for everyday duty. His MiLB numbers the last couple of seasons, make Nick Punto’s MLB numbers look like those of Wade Boggs.

      I really think that Revere will be the dark horse this season (I tweeted that a few hours ago 🙂 ) because he is probably the highest level pure (or as pure as you can get) CF in the organization depth.

      If Span gets an ear issue again, the potential outfield of Kubel/Cuddyer/Young (pick your CF) would be enough to cause migraines to everyone associated with the Twins, so, yes, I was surprised that it was Pridie instead of Tolbert (who is redundant with Casilla, Punto and Harris on the roster) who was waived/optioned.

      Something has to be brewing in the Twins front office right now, but I suspect that most of it will be minor league free agent signings… Yes, I do hope for Baldelli, but…

  11. Gamer February 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Everybody is missing the fact that LNP is the 5th OF on this team right now. It is the same as Denny Hocking playing several games there during his career. I expect him to play 20-25 in CF this year.

    To be honest, for that number of games, it makes more sense than carrying another player (like Pridie) who would hit the same as LNP.

  12. mike wants wins February 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Well, then they’ll lose that next player when they get someone, won’t they?

    Agreed, Pridie is no long term answer, but now they have none.

  13. Bill in Sarasota February 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I think Tolbert is Punto’s replacement next year and provides depth at AAA this year.

    Obviously the FO believes they can get a cheap defensive CF and put him (maybe it will turn out to be Martin) at AAA in case there’s an injury to Span.

    Provides time (6-8 weeks) for a possible trade to free up a spot on the 40 man roster for the backup CF if Gardy wants it instead of Casilla.

    Baldelli might still be able to play CF.

  14. Ruth February 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I’m bummed about losing Jason Pridie. He is always so friendly and nice to me and I think he would have done a good job as a backup outfielder. Is Rene Tosoni ready to fill that role if someone gets hurt?

  15. joelthing February 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Surprised Pridie was claimed, but he does have an option left, so any team should be pleased to keep him on the 40-man for another season.

    Noticed the Orioles waived Armando Gabino.

    Anyone know the status of Eddie Morlan?

    Not sure if Jacque will produce. But it’s nice to give the guy a try, a shot…especially sicne he won’t mind making minor league money. But he still has to produce to play AAA.

    Hey, folks. Spring Training. Lots of guys will be out of work, looking for jobs, as we near April. The Twins should be able to find someone, anyone, to fill out the AAA roster.

    Hey, the Twins even have to make some decisions on their AAAA pros like Matt Macri, Jason Jones and Tim Lahey.

    Matt Moses find work? Or will he retire? Play Indie ball?

  16. thrylos98 February 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    About this Toby thing:

    ok, I agree it is meaningless (an extra hand to catch pitchers in ST) but here are a couple of questions:

    a. Do you think that if his last name was not Gardenhire, would be be invited?

    b. Wouldn’t it be better for the organization to reward someone else (because, yes it is a reward, financial too, in the rate of $500 a day – big money for some minor leaguers) like Josmil Pinto, for example, who had a great season last year, with the invite?

    I don’t know, but I do put my hand on my heart and say that deep inside that was a bad move by the Twins.

    • Pradesh February 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

      Yes, if his name was Nicky Punto Jr., Toby would likely need to step aside and wait his turn.

    • maxisagod February 10, 2010 at 10:19 am #

      Meh, if I found out a catcher from AA, who was at spring training last year to catch pitchers, was again invited to catch pitchers this year after a different catcher got injured…. I think I’d be bored into a coma. The only reason why this is interesting is because he the manager’s son. I’ll hold the pain in my heart for when Toby get’s a call up to play with the Twins… or for a Philly Cheese steak sandwich, just waiting to give me heart burn.

  17. TT February 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    It always seemed odd that the Twins were counting on Pridie as the fourth outfielder. It turns out they weren’t.

    My guess is that they don’t have a firm plan and this will be an issue until the end of spring training. There may be someone available in trade by then and/or they may be able to move Perkins and/or Casilla opening a roster spot for someone else.

    I don’t think Revere is really an option. They aren’t going to want to waste an option year on him, much less start his major league service clock. Its not clear he is a major league center fielder at this point in any case and he needs to play every day.

    Is Tosoni really a center fielder? I am doubtful. But he may be good enough to spell Span. I agree that Punto, Tolbert and even Casilla might be able to play center field in a pinch. The larger question is depth if Span goes down for an extended period.

  18. Gopher Nation February 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I have felt all along the Twins will obtain a veteran light hitting OF that provides defense and speed. That being said, I still can’t figure out the final makeup of the Twins bench that became very complicated by 1.) signing Thome which takes away bench flexibility and 2.) the signing of Brendan Harris to a two year deal for a guy that I thought was going to be the odd man out.

  19. Lala72 February 10, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Mature bloggers understand that Toby is only being invited to catch bullpen? He won’t take away any innings??? Sure, sport. Just like Nick Punto is a “utility man.” Uh ha. We can trust Gardy. He’s never shown the slightest inclining of that father-son type favoritism. Never. It’s not like Nick Punto is his adopted son. It’s not like Nick Punto has been given any unfair advantages over other players. No. Never. But, I guess those that are ignorant of Gardy’s tendencies are deemed “mature,” huh? This is only the beginning, sport. Mark my words, Toby Gardenhire, son of favoritism guru Ron himself, will be the Twins “utility man” in 2011.

  20. Brad February 10, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Anyone else think this is not only a move for this year, but next year? I don’t think the Twins will be able to afford Cudyer next year and breaking in one of their top end talents may prove quite wise. I doubt they would break camp with Revere or Tosoni, but I wouldn’t be suprised to see either one come up the top of June. In the mean time Tolber or Casillas would have to be counted on to back up one of the OF positions.

    • TT February 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

      The Twins already picked up Cuddyer’s option for next year. But if Revere is ready and Delmon Young breaks out, I could see them moving Cuddyer to provide room for Revere. Its more likely they would move Young. A batting order with Span and Revere at the top would be interesting.

  21. sam February 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    seth did matt moses find a job?

  22. Ben February 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I’ve got no problem with Toby getting invited to camp. If he can prove to be a serviceable defensive catcher he could be fairly valuable.

  23. GBG February 11, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Did I really just read someone griping about what MIGHT happen with a utility infielder two seasons from now?

    I’ve officially seen it all now…

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