The dearth of Twins-related news lately has prevented this blog from being very active, but that will hopefully change in the next couple of months. In February and March, we will begin to break down the Twins as well as their competition and look at the transpirings of spring training. For now, a few notes:
*The Twins avoided arbitration with Michael Cuddyer by signing him to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million dollars. Those who frequent this blog are probably well-aware that I am not a big fan of Cuddyer, and I hope the Twins use him strictly as a backup this year. In that role, he has some value; he can fill in at third base, first base, and both of the corner outfield positions.
*While they were able to get a deal done with Cuddyer, it appears the Twins will be heading to the arbitrator for a second consecutive year with Kyle Lohse. Lohse filed at $3.95 million and the Twins have offered $3.5 million.
*The Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed former Twin Luis Rivas to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. To an un-knowing team, Rivas might seem like an attractive option: a speedy middle infielder with a lot of Major League experience who is only 26 years-old. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays' new manager Joe Maddon is very high on the signing. In the article, Maddon envisions Rivas a "super-utility guy" and compares him to the Angels' Chone Figgins. Those poor Tampa Bay fans, as if they don't have enough to be disappointed about already...
*On a note not relating to the Twins, the Orioles swapped reliever Jorge Julio and a prospect with the Mets for Kris Benson. This seems like kind of an odd move for the Orioles. While they need starting pitching, dealing Julio leaves them with no heir apparent to the closer role vacated by BJ Ryan. They have a few other guys who could conceivably step in and collect saves, but it looks like it is going to be an experiment. Things are not shaping up well for the Orioles this off-season; it's hard to imagine them finishing any better than fourth place in the AL East.