Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Meetings Wrap-Up

The winter meetings came to a close yesterday without any meaningful activity from the Twins, which is hardly surprising. Last offseason, it took Bill Smith and Co. until February to make any significant moves, so the fact that the team has already addressed two major areas of need by trading for J.J. Hardy and locking up Carl Pavano for another season should help satisfy hot-stove hungry fans.

Despite the slew of moves that took place this week, plenty of intriguing players remain available in free agency and the Twins have been connected to several trade rumors, so there will be plenty of stuff to track in the coming weeks. With that being said, I expect a lull until at least the turn of the new year.

A few more notes to wrap up the week of winter meetings...

* After designating him for assignment earlier this week, the Twins have traded Boof Bonser to the Red Sox for a player to be named later. This is good in that the Twins would have gotten nothing in return for losing Bonser had he gone unclaimed and become a free agent this weekend, but the player they ultimately receive from Boston will likely be a low-level prospect with marginal upside.

* The Rule 5 draft took place yesterday. The Twins didn't select any players nor have any poached away in the major-league phase. Twins' farmhands Angelo Sanchez and Winston Marquez were both selected in the minor-league phase of the draft, but neither pitcher is a major loss.

* Finally, I did a Twins-related Q&A this week over at the blog SimonOnSports. You can check that out here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nick -

I was recently looking at the list of possible non tenders and I was interested in a few of them.

1) Not wanting to think that the Twins will just turn their faces whenever a pitcher comes around, I was intrigued by Ching Ming Wang. What do you think the possibility of the Twins just looking at Wang as a possibility is? Due to his plagued injury past, I think he would be a very low risk high reward type pitcher. When healthy, he can really be a thorn in the opposition.

2) Also, Kelly Johnson will most assuredly be non tendered. Chances of him signing a $2 million contract plus incentives and an option? (Non tender Crain to make room for Johnson and also to free up the payroll that would go to Johnson).

Nick N. said...

1) I've been thinking about Wang. At the right price he'd be a nice pickup. As I've said in the past, the Twins have enough pitching depth to take on an injury risk like that, and if he can get his sinker working, he could fit well here as the Twins figure to sport a pretty solid defensive infield (depending on what they do at third base).

2) Not really interested in Johnson. Left-handed, poor defender and coming off a terrible year. Better options abound.

lookatthosetwins said...

Johnson would be a great pickup, if he wasn't the only guy we picked up. I would be very happy with the offseason if we ended up with Kouzmanoff and Johnson.

Johnson would split time with Punto at second, and backup the corner outfielders and third basemen. The fact that he's left handed actually would make him ideal for that job, as Cuddyer, Young, Punto, and whoever we sign at third will probably be all RH or switch hitters. He was a very good offensive player in 07 and 08, and was plagued by a ridiculously low BABIP in 09. He isn't a great defender, but should be just as good as Harris, with much more offensive upside.

That being said, there is virually no chance this happens. Johnson will try to find a starting job somewhere, and probably find it. And since we have all ready tendered Harris, it doesn't seem likely they'd want to sign someone with a similar skillset, even if it is an improvement.

So would a 2 mil signing of KJ be ok? Yes, if it doesn't keep them from signing somewhere else and he knows he probably won't be playing every day, but the chances of that happening are extremely small.

Beth said...

Nick, any idea when the TBA player will be named?

Nick N. said...

Nick, any idea when the TBA player will be named?

Named this weekend. Chris Province, 24-year-old right-hander who finished last year in Double-A. Not much of a prospect, really, with a 4.03 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 5.6 K/9 rate over three seasons in the minors, but he's a ground ball guy who fits the Twins' organizational mold.

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