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Delmon Dealt to Detroit

15 Aug

This afternoon, the Twins traded outfielder Delmon Young to Detroit for LHP born in Edina, MN, Cole Nelson, and a Player to be Named Later. Rene Tosoni will be recalled to take Young’s place on the Twins roster.

The 22-year-old Nelson was the Tigers’ 10th round pick in 2010 out of Auburn. After signing, he pitched in seven games for the GCL Tigers before giving up one run in 12 innings for Lakeland (Florida State League). That is where he went this season, and it has not gone well. In 26 games (17 starts), he is 5-11 with a 4.87 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.  He is 6-7 and 233 pounds, and he is left-handed… and breathing.

Clearly that is all they could get for a guy who just last year hit .298 with 46 doubles, 21 homer and 112 RBI. This year has been a mess for Young from the start. He is hitting just .266 with 16 doubles and four home runs. All while continuing to be one of the worst defensively outfielders in baseball.

The Twins definitely sold low, but did it really matter? They weren’t going to get anything for him when the Designated him for Assignment at the end of the year. It’s unfortunate that the #1 pick in 2002 MLB draft and former two-time #1 prospect in all of baseball. Three-and-a-half years of Young was plenty for the Twins and their fans.

At this point, this is what the Twins need to do. Anyone who isn’t coming back next year should be traded for anything.

Tosoni has really struggled since his most recent demotion to Rochester, but that does not take away his prospect status. He is a solid all-around player and is someone that the Twins should take a look at the rest of the season, especially if Denard Span is (and should be) limited.


What’s the Going Rate?

11 Aug

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Remember the 1994 movie Little Big League? In it, the owner of the Twins passes away and wills the team and the stadium to his grandson, 12-year-old Billy Heywood. He names himself the manager of the Twins. Some of the veteran players do not like that decision and needing to abide by the rules of the youngster. A veteran pitcher tells him that he isn’t going to pitch and isn’t going to do anything to affect his upcoming free agency.


Heywood says, “What’s the going rate for a 30 year old free agent pitcher that can’t get anybody out?”


Suddenly, the pitcher had a change of heart and pitched well again.


The Twins will have some big decisions to make between now and the beginning of the 2012 season. Two of the bigger decisions involve a couple of immensely talented but enigmatic ball players, Delmon Young and Francisco Liriano.


Some believe that the Twins should trade them for whatever they can get for them. Both have one more year of arbitration remaining, but some fans believe that the two are non-tender candidates. What would you do?


How about this? Go to each player with the Billy Heywood comment.


“Hey Francisco, what is the going rate for a 28 year old pitcher with an ERA of 5.00, a history of injuries and the perception that he doesn’t put in his work?”


“Hey Delmon, what is the going rate for a 26 year old corner outfielders coming off of a season with a .650 OPS, less than 30 extra base hits, bad defense and a questionable attitude?


Neither of these guys is old. Both have had very good seasons as recently as 2010 when Young hit .298 with 46 doubles, 21 homers and 112 RBI and Liriano won 14 games with an ERA of 3.62 and 201 strikeouts in 191+ innings.


Instead of selling low on both of them, why not put the pressure on them to work really, really hard in the offseason, knowing that they really need to put up big numbers in 2012 or potentially lose out on a lot of money. Why not let the Twins see what they can get from those players in a contract year? Let the Twins be the beneficiary of that effort. Both do have the world of talent. We have seen that talent on the field. They are both young enough to still reach that level again.


Of course, bringing them back means that the Twins will need to pay them at least 80% of what they are paying them this year. Most likely, each would be in line for a small raise. That could mean $10-13 million for the two players that could be used elsewhere.

I just really do not believe in selling low. What do you think?


(For the record, I don’t think that this is what will or even necessarily should be done. I think at least one, most likely Young, will be traded in the offseason, or sooner)




The Twins were able to beat the Red Sox 5-2 on Wednesday night. It was a much-needed win for the team. A couple of quick notes:


  • Following the game, Trevor Plouffe was optioned to Rochester with Alexi Casilla coming off the Disabled List. He got a few games here and there in this stint, but again, no regular, daily playing time. He definitely was shaky defensively no matter where they put him, and the bat did not come through in the limited playing time.
  • Justin Morneau will be activated on Friday before the game in Cleveland. At that time, the Twins will need to send one more player down. I have to assume the decision is between Jason Repko, who has an option, and Ben Revere, who has all three of his options remaining. Revere is clearly the better player, but that isn’t the decision. Revere needs to play pretty much every day. If he will do that with the Twins, then keep him up. If not, send him to Rochester for the next two weeks and let him play. With Denard Span struggling, I have to believe Revere stays.
  • Nick Blackburn needed a good start, and he got it.
  • Congratulations to Joe Nathan for becoming the Twins all-time leader in Saves, passing Rick Aguilera on the list.




  • Rochester 11, Durham 3 – Justin Morneau went 2-4 with a walk and a long home run. Dustin Martin went 2-5 with his 21st double. Michael Holliman went 1-3 with a walk. Jake Stevens started and gave up only an unearned run in four innings. He gave up eight hits, walked none and struck out two. Eden Prairie native and former Gopher Cole DeVries struck out four in three scoreless innings. Dusty Hughes struck one out in one shutout frame. Jim Hoey gave up two solo home runs in his inning of work.  
  • After being rained out on Tuesday, the New Britain Rock Cats and Altoona played two games on Wednesday. In the first game, the Rock Cats lost 5-0. David Bromberg went four innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one. Brett Jacobson then struck out three and gave up an unearned run in two innings. Matt Schuld pitched a scoreless inning. The Rock Cats managed just five hits. Yangervis Solarte (30) and Mark Dolenc (13) each doubled.
  • The second game got ugly quick, and the Rock Cats lost 14-1. Spencer Steedley started and went one inning. He gave up seven runs on seven hits and four walks. Dakota Watts then gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in the next two innings. Steve Hirschfeld gave up a run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Deolis Guerra gave up a run, but struck out two in one inning. Tyler Robertson worked a scoreless inning. The Rock Cats had just six hits. Mark Dolenc went 3-3 with his 14th double.  
  • Beloit lost to Wisconsin 3-1. Blayne Weller made the start in place of BJ Hermsen. He went four innings and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out four. Michael Tonkin gave up one run on three hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out three. Adrian Salcedo pitched a scoreless inning. The Snappers had just four hits. Nate Roberts was 1-3 with a walk.
  • Elizabethton shut out Danville 3-0. Tim Shibuya threw five scoreless innings. He gave up eight hits, but he walked none and struck out four. Corey Williams gave up one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings in which he struck out four. Steven Gruver struck out two in two scoreless innings. Eddie Rosario led the offense by going 2-4 with his sixth triple. He also stole his 12th base. Kennys Vargas hit his 11th double. Matthew Koch, the Twins 12th round pick, made his debut and went 1-1 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
  • The Ft. Myers Miracle and the GCL Twins games were both rained out.
  • Twins Minor League Weekly will be on tonight at 10:00.
  • LaVelle blogged his updated prospect list, starting with Twins prospects 6-10. Today, he will post his Top 5 Twins Prospects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

How the Twins won 8 out of 10

12 Jun

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Before we start, a quick reminder:

World Series Contest

I am going to be holding some contests here and on Twitter and Facebook over the next week or two thanks to A&E who has now come out with “A&E Minnesota Twins Vintage World Series Films DVD.”  It includes both the 1987 and 1991 teams! The ’87 team beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games. The ’91 World Series was the first that had two worst-to-first teams as the Twins and the Atlanta Braves played one of the greatest seven-game series ever, including Jack Morris’s amazing Game 7. So be sure to look here and other places for some contests for a free copy.

On Saturday afternoon, the Twins scored five first inning runs and Scott Baker threw a complete game as the Twins won for the eighth time in ten games. First, it was a four-game sweep in Kansas City. Then they won two out of three in Cleveland against the division leaders. With the win on Saturday, the Twins have won two of the first three games of this four-game series against arguably the best team in the American League, the Texas Rangers.

After playing horrible baseball through the first 54 games of the season, the Twins have found a way to play great baseball over the past ten games. They have managed to do that without Joe Mauer, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Jim Thome, Jason Kubel and in recent days without Denard Span or Justin Morneau.

Do I believe that this type of success is sustainable? With the current roster? No. But as those aforementioned players come back, along with Glen Perkins, the team is certainly moving back in the right direction.

So, how did a team that was playing so poorly suddenly run off eight wins in ten games? I went to the numbers and it has been a combination of good starting pitching, great bullpen work and very strong offense. Here are some of the numbers for you to consider:

  • Over those ten games, the starting pitchers have thrown 65.1 innings. They have given up 70 hits, walked 11 and struck out 41. That’s a 2.62 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. They have given up eight unearned runs, four of them came on Friday night in Brian Duensing’s seven run second inning. Scott Baker and Carl Pavano each threw a complete game during that time frame and seven innings in their other start. Brian Duensing threw eight shutout innings in one of his starts. Anthony Swarzak picked up his first career win to start this run. Francisco Liriano returned with five shutout innings.
  • As good as the starters have been, the bullpen has been even better. There may be a direct correlation there as well. Starters go longer and pitch better, maybe it’s easier to come in and perform. But they have come through in some tough situations. In those ten games, the bullpen has a 1.09 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 24.2 innings. They have given up just 16 hits, walked eight and struckout 12.
  • Ben Revere made the comment in his Fox interview following Saturday’s win that he likes being a leader and getting the team going. I assume that he meant that he enjoys being a leadoff hitter and setting the table for the game. Revere has been a catalyst, but he has not been the only offensive performer over the past ten days. Here’s proof that a lot of people are contributing:
    • Revere has gone 13-44 (.295) with two walks and a double. He has scored seven runs, driven in four runs. He also has three stolen bases.
    • Alexi Casilla has gone 14-42 (.333) with four walks and three doubles. He has four stolen bases, has scored six runs and driven in four runs.
    • Michael Cuddyer has gone 12-38 (.316) with four walks. He has four doubles, three home runs, six runs scored and ten RBI.
    • Delmon Young has gone 14-40 (.350) with a walk, three doubles and a long home run. He has scored seven runs and driven in six.
    • Matt Tolbert has gone 10-33 (.303) with a walk, three doubles, five runs scored and six RBI.
    • Luke Hughes has gone 9-25 (.360) with a walk, three doubles and seven runs scored.
    • Drew Butera has gone 8-20 (.400) with a walk, three doubles, six runs scored and six RBI.
    • Before his concussion, Denard Span went 4-14 (.286) with a double, a triple, a run scored and three RBI.
    • Jason Repko was 3-12 (.250) with a double, a run and three RBI. He played a huge role in one of the wins in Kansas City.
  • Before missing a couple of days lately, Justin Morneau had gone 2-24 (.083). Danny Valencia has gone 5-35 (.143) with four walks, a double, two runs and two RBI. Rene Rivera has gone 3-16 (.188) with a walk, a double, two runs and an RBI.

So again, in order to go on a nice ten-game run like the Twins have, it takes a whole team. The Twins have been able to get strong starting pitching and bullpen work. They have received offensive contributions from some unlikely sources, some young players and some of the veterans that much had been expected earlier. Ben Revere has been a catalyst, and Michael Cuddyer has been an incredible run producer.

And, as a fan, the best thing is that the Twins have been fun to watch again. Not just because of the wins, but primarily because the brand of baseball is just much better.

Of course, as we are now down to 98 more games, the Twins will need to play very well for the next nine or ten ten-game stretches. Are they capable? As those injured players return, how will they impact the Twins team? Are you surprised to see any of the above numbers? Feel free to comment here.

2011 Twins Predictions

1 Apr

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Thursday was officially Opening Day, and I have to admit, it was a strange day for me. First, it was on a Thursday for the first time. I had enough troubles with ESPN getting a Sunday night season opener, after Opening Day had always just been a Monday thing. MLB decided to start the season three or four days earlier in an attempt to keep the World Series out of November. Second, the Twins didn’t play on Opening Day. Only 12 teams did. So, I guess all I can say is:

Happy Minnesota Twins Opening Day to you!

Predictions are always fun because at the end of the year, I can pick and choose which ones I will remind you that I made. Or, if they’re that far off, I can forget to remind you about my picks and hopefully you won’t remind me too often. Below are some predictions, some more bold than others, for the 2011 Minnesota Twins season with some other predictions randomly thrown in.


  • Matt Capps will record twice as many saves as Joe Nathan.
  • Joe Mauer will hit less than .320, but he will hit more than 40 doubles and more than 16 home runs. He will win his fourth straight, and fifth total, Silver Slugger Award.
  • Justin Morneau will post an OPS of just over .880.
  • Delmon Young will:
    • Hit over .300.
    • Hit more than 28 home runs
    • Drive in more than 120 runs
    • Post an OPS of less than .900.
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka will post an OPS of over .720 and steal more than 25 bases. He will also deserve to win the AL Gold Glove, but he won’t because Robinson Cano is a really good hitter.
  • Alexi Casilla’s OPS will be within .030 of JJ Hardy’s. He will also be within 2.0 UZR of the former Twins shortstop.
  • The date that I will stop watching the Twins on FSN with the volume on will be April 6th.
  • Denard Span will post an OBP over .370. He will steal more than 30 bases.
  • Michael Cuddyer will lead the Twins with more than 40 doubles. He will also top 20 home runs.
  • Danny Valencia will post an OPS greater than .820 with more than 32 doubles and more than 15 home runs.
  • Jim Thome will NOT post an OPS of over 1.000 again in 2011. In fact, he won’t post a .900 OPS. He will hit less than 15 home runs but more than the 11 home runs he needs to reach career home runs number 600.
    • Let’s go on a limb and say that he will his Home Run #600 on August 24th at Target Field in the 2nd inning off of Jake Arrieta.
  • Carl Pavano will throw 200 innings, but his ERA will be over 4.40.
  • Francisco Liriano will throw less than 190 innings with an ERA over 3.50 and a K-rate less than 8.5 per nine innings.
  • Brian Duensing will throw 175+ innings with an ERA of under 4.25.
  • Nick Blackburn will throw more than 210 innings with an ERA just under 4.00.
  • Scott Baker will throw 190+ innings with an ERA under 4.20.
  • Kevin Slowey will not make a start for the Twins in 2011, and he will average more than a strikeout per inning
  • I will be wrong about one of the five starters pitching well, Kyle Gibson will make his Twins debut on June 18 at Target Field against the Padres.
  • Joe Mauer and Delmon Young will represent the Twins at the All-Star game.
  • The Twins will open their 2011 home schedule with a 3-4 record, including a split against the Yankees at Yankees Stadium.
  • Ron Gardenhire will be ejected eight times in 2011.
  • No Twins hitter will top 30 home runs, however, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young will come close, while Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel will hit over 22 each.


Minnesota Twins        93-69

Chicago White Sox      91-71

Detroit Tigers              80-82

Cleveland Indians        72-90

Kansas City Royals     63-99


AL Central – Minnesota Twins (2)

AL East – Boston Red Sox (1)

AL West – Oakland A’s (3)

Wild Card – Chicago White Sox (4)

ALDS: Boston over Chicago in 4 games, Oakland over Minnesota (in 5 games, the A’s rotation contains lefties Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden, and the bullpen has Brian Fuentes, Craig Breslow and Bobby Cramer. The Twins have not addressed their need for a right-handed bat. Unless they do, it could be another one and done.)

ALCS – Boston over Oakland in 5 games.


NL Central – Milwaukee Brewers (3)

NL East – Atlanta Braves (2)

NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers (1)

NL East – Philadelphia Phillies

NLDS: Braves over Brewers in 4 games. Phillies over Dodgers in 4 games.

NLCS: Braves over Phillies in 7 games.


                Braves over Red Sox in 6 games.

 What are your predictions for the 2011 season, for the Twins or the league. If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to comment or ask.


  • TWINS MINOR LEAGUE WEEKLY PODCAST LAST NIGHTNIGHT – If you are interested in the Twins minor league system, check out Twins Minor League Weekly podcast from last night. Travis Aune and I will host the 10:00 p.m. podcast each Thursday throughout the season. Last night, we discussed the projected rosters and picks to click for the Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rockcats. We started talking about the Ft. Myers Miracle when the 45 minute podcast abruptly came to an end. Next Thursday, we’ll discuss minor league opening night and continue to look at the Miracle and Snappers rosters.

Should Twins Fans Worry about Aaron Hicks?

18 Feb

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It is always strange to me when I hear Twins fans and some minor league baseball fans talking about how disappointing Aaron Hicks has been in Beloit. I think part of it is because many, myself included, thought he would end the 2010 season in Ft. Myers. I realize everyone from fans to players to front office personnel are eagerly awaiting his breakout year when his incredible tools become skills and he puts up some terrific numbers. But I wanted to take a look at how his numbers at Beloit compare to other Twins players and their numbers in the Midwest League.

Let’s start by reviewing the numbers that Aaron Hicks has put up the last two years in Beloit:

Player Age Year Team BA/OBP/SLG (OPS) 2B/3B/HR/RBI BB/K
Aaron Hicks 19 2009 Beloit .251/.353/.382 (735) 15/3/4/29 40/55
Aaron Hicks 20 2010 Beloit .279/.401/.428 (829) 27/6/8/49 88/112

Here are some current and former Twins players and how they did in the Midwest League (Note – Delmon Young’s A-ball numbers from the Sally League):

Player Age Year Team BA/OBP/SLG (OPS) 2B/3B/HR/RBI BB/K
Torii Hunter 18 1994 Ft. Wayne .293/.358/.439 (797) 17/1/10/50 25/80
Michael Cuddyer 19 1998 Ft. Wayne .276/.364/.451 (815) 37/7/12/81 61/107
Justin Morneau 20 2001 Quad Cities .356/.420/.597 (1017) 17/2/12/53 26/38
Joe Mauer 19 2002 Quad Cities .302/.393/.392 (785) 23/1/4/62 61/42
Jason Kubel 20 2002 Quad Cities .321/.380/.521 (901) 26/4/17/69 41/48
Denard Span 20 2004 Quad Cities .267/.363/.308 (671) 4/3/0/14 34/49
Delmon Young 18 2004 Charleston .320/.386/.536 (922) 26/5/25/115 53/120
Alexi Casilla 20 2005 Cedar Rapids .325/.392/.409 (801) 11/3/3/17 29/31

Here are a few notes:

  • Everyone talks about how Torii Hunter didn’t put up great numbers in the Midwest League. Well, he did, and he did it at the age of 18. He was already showing some of that power.
  • Michael Cuddyer put up some incredible minor league numbers all the way up the ladder, and it started as a 19 year old in 1998. Look at all those extra base hits.
  • Justin Morneau didn’t get to the Midwest League until he was 20, and he only spent a half season there because he completely dominated the level.
  • Joe Mauer’s OPS isn’t exciting, but we did get a glimpse of the player he has become too. Many more walks than strikeouts, a few doubles, and a good batting average.
  • How fun would it have been to see Quad Cities play in 2002 with Mauer and Jason Kubel? You can see why so many people back then saw Kubel as a mix between Morneau and Mauer.
  • Denard Span didn’t exactly put up monster numbers, and he did miss quite a bit of time with injury. The take-away from those numbers is that he had a very nice Isolated Discipline already even though he was, like Hicks, very raw at the time.
  • Delmon Young was a beast after being taken with the 1st overall pick in the 2003 draft. Ever wonder why people still think he’ll develop a lot of power, check out those numbers!
  • Alexi Casilla was with the Angels organization, but what he did for Cedar Rapids made him the guy they wanted in a trade of JC Romero the next offseason.
  • I included international players and high school drafted players in this group. Danny Valencia hit .302/.374/.500 (874) with 15 doubles and 11 homers in a half-season with the Snappers, but he was 22 years old after spending three years playing Division I baseball. Matt Tolbert played four years at the University of Mississippi, so the Twins had him skip the Midwest League and go right to Ft. Myers.

Can we take anything away from these numbers? With Hicks, you have to love his Isolated Discipline and On-Base skills from both years. The strikeouts increased some in 2010, but he has shown some extra base power. Delmon Young, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel put up really tremendous numbers in the Midwest League, and that has translated to the big leagues eventually. Cuddyer was an extra base machine as a 19 year old in Beloit, and yet his OPS was lower than Hicks’ was in 2010, as a 20 year old. Joe Mauer has always had a terrific eye, and yet Hicks has produced significantly better IsoD while producing more extra base hits.

Of course, we don’t know what will happen. We know that all players develop differently, but I think that this quick, cursory glance at Hicks’ numbers compared to current big leaguers gives us no reason to believe he won’t continue developing and become a very good big league player.

Let’s also take a look at the Midwest League numbers of some of the other Twins hitting prospects to see how they compare:

Player Age Year Team BA/OBP/SLG (OPS) 2B/3B/HR/RBI BB/K
Trevor Plouffe 19 2005 Beloit .223/.300/.345 (645) 18/0/13/60 50/78
Chris Parmelee 19 2007 Beloit .239/.313/.414 (727) 23/5/15/70 46/137
Chris Parmelee 20 2008 Beloit .239/.385/.496 (881) 10/3/14/49 52/83
Joe Benson 19 2007 Beloit .255/.347/.368 (715) 18/8/5/38 49/124
Joe Benson 20 2008 Beloit .248/.326/.382 (708) 16/3/4/27 24/73
Ben Revere 20 2008 Beloit .379/.433/.497 (930) 17/10/1/43 27/31
Angel Morales 19 2009 Beloit .266/.329/.455 (784) 22/5/13/62 30/104
Angel Morales 20 2010 Beloit .289/.381/.474 (855) 13/7/4/36 24/65
James Beresford 20 2009 Beloit .289/.342/.313 (655) 11/0/0/38 34/70
James Beresford 21 2010 Beloit .297/.349/.363 (712) 19/5/1/59 34/56
Danny Rams 20 2009 Beloit .229/.308/.429 (737) 14/0/7/23 18/77
Danny Rams 21 2010 Beloit .243/.310/.450 (760) 28/4/16/68 31/145
Anderson Hidalgo 21 2010 Beloit .316/.375/.443 (818) 25/1/3/28 24/50
  • Trevor Plouffe put up those numbers only because he played much better in the 2nd half of the season. Good power numbers, but he could have used another year with the Snappers.
  • Both Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee struggled in their first seasons in the Midwest League. Then both got hurt halfway through their second season with the team. However, in the second year, you can see why people are excited about his patience and power potential.
  • Looking at Revere’s Beloit numbers, what a year he had. Very much batting average based, of course. But if we were to only look at OPS, his is right up there with anyone (except Morneau). And he stole 44 bases that year too.
  • Angel Morales… how/why is he so overlooked in many prospect rankings?
  • James Beresford showed good improvement from 2009 and 2010. Reports are that he has gained some weight this offseason. If he can add any semblance of power to his game, he could jump up prospect rankings quickly!
  • Danny Rams has so much power potential, but he just needs to put the ball in play more. His 77 strikeouts in 2009 came in just 175 at bats. He struck out 145 times in 407 at bats in 2010. Yet, his power numbers still make him intriguing.
  • Anderson Hidalgo may be the least known, or maybe underrated, prospect in the organization. He had another solid year in 2010.

What is the summary? There really isn’t one. There is no science to prospect rankings and we don’t know how things will turn out, but if nothing else, I believe this data shows that Twins fans should continue to be very excited about the future of Aaron Hicks.

Any thoughts? Feel free to leave your comments here. Also, for more links to Twins articles and thoughts throughout the weekend, be sure to follow me on Twitter where I like to retweet Twins-related articles and post thoughts frequently. Have a great weekend!

Twins/Young Avoid Arbitration

15 Feb

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According to a status update on Delmon Young’s Facebook page, he and the Twins reached an agreement tonight to avoid arbitration. Details are unknown at this time. Young had asked for $6.25 million, and the Twins countered with an offer of $4.65 million. The midpoint is $5.45 million. No matter the number, he will receive a significant raise from the $2.6 million he made in 2010.

Young posted on his Facebook page, “Avoided Arbitration…Now looking for the spring training and defending the AL Central for a 3rd year in a row.”

I concur!

UPDATE – 7:30 a.m. – LaVelle E. Neal confirmed the Twins and Delmon Young avoided arbitration. He also noted that they agreed on a $5.375 million deal for 2011. I can’t help but assume there’ll be some incentives that could b ring it to the mid-point. (he is $75,000 shy)

Arbitrary Thoughts

17 Jan

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On Sunday, the Twins avoided arbitration with infielder Alexi Casilla by agreeing to a 2011 contract worth $865,000. Assuming that Casilla can remain the Twins starter at shortstop or second base throughout the season, it is a great contract. In the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook, we projected that he would sign for about $800,000.

By tomorrow, the Twins will be working with the agents of five more Twins players who are arbitration-eligible. If you recall last year, all of the Twins arbitration-eligible players agreed to deals with the Twins before numbers needed to be officially exchanged. I would anticipate that a few of the five remaining players could come to an agreement, but I also think that it is likely we will see some numbers exchanged. Here are the players:

Glen Perkins – This one ought to be interesting. He made about $430,000 when he was in the big leagues in 2010, which wasn’t too much. No one knows how big of a factor the past issues between the Twins and Perkins’ camp will play into this. TwinsCentric projected that he’ll make $800,000 in arbitration. I’d like to think it’ll be closer to $600,000. This is why I think that we may find out. Seth Guess: $700,000.

Kevin Slowey – After making $470,000 in 2010, Slowey is eligible for arbitration for the first time. He has the win-loss record. He’s got league-average ERA. He doesn’t walk people. Good strikeout rate. TwinsCentric’s $2.75 million seems a little bit high, but that’s what guys of this ilk make. I’d like to see it closer to $2.25 million. Seth’s Guess: $2.4 million.

Francisco Liriano – In his first arbitration year last year, he made $1.6 million coming off of a couple of bad seasons. Now he’s coming off of a terrific season. I mentioned that I thought a four year, $40 million deal would be market value, and I’m sure they will have some discussions. But that wouldn’t happen until spring training begins, so for now it’ll be about putting a 2011 deal in place. TwinsCentric projects $4.5 million, and I fear that may be a little bit low. Seth’s Guess: $4.5 million, and negotiate later.

Delmon Young – Young finally had a season that many hoped he might have, although it still produced just an .826 OPS. That said, .298 with 21 homers and 112 RBI will look good to arbiters. TwinsCentric projects $5.25 million, and although I think that’s a reasonable amount, I’d fear it could be higher. Seth’s Guess: $6.2 million.

Matt Capps – Capps was non-tendered a year ago by the Pirates and signed for $3.5 million by the Nationals, and as you of course know, came to the Twins at the July deadline. In his final year of arbitration-eligiblity, the comps for him are all over the place. He has the big save number from 2010, but if arbitration is based on two years, he was bad in 2009. TwinsCentric projected $7.5 million. I HOPE it is lower than that, but we shall see. Seth’s Guess: $6.25 million.

What do you think about it? Feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.