Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Few (Final) Non-Tender Thoughts

I said I was going to look at a few of the non-tenders and comment on whether they could be pursued by the Twins. It took me a little longer to get around to this than I had planned, but that's what happens around finals period. Just an upfront comment - there aren't a lot of great options available - 28 players were non-tendered by MLB Teams, and 2 of those were Twins, so were talking about roughly 26 guys - most of whom there would be absolutely no interest in. But, here are some whose addition would be at least interesting . . .

Joel Pineiro - RHP
Formerly of the Mariners, Pineiro got cut because he was making far too much money (in the $6 million range) for what he was worth (ERA's of 5.62 in 2005 and 6.36 in 2006). At one point, this guy was a solid prospect, and very well in 2002 (14-7, 3.24 ERA) and 2003 (16-11, 3.78). Something obviously went wrong for him since that time, but with a guy who had the goods at one point, there's always hope that he could be turned around. Other sources (I think it was the Twins website) mentioned that Pineiro was possible, but unlikely, because he's probably not going to be willing to take a huge paycut, and the Twins probably wouldn't offer him too much cash. Thing is, Pineiro may find his options limited - he's more a curiosity than a hot commodity right now - so you never know.

Alexis Gomez - OF
I mention his name only because he's an OF and the Twins have been looking to sign a LF. But even if a deal with Rondell White wasn't the most likely scenario, the Twins wouldn't likely be interested in Gomez anyway, because he's essentially another Jason Tyner.

Rick Ankiel - OF
Alright, he's likely to end up back in St. Louis under a minor league contract (if he hasn't already re-signed), but he's an intriguing player. Last year, he hit 21 homers in 85 games between A and AA ball - so clearly the guy has some power. The Twins could use a power hitting outfield prospect for the High A - AA level, and Ankiel would be a very interesting fit. Not going to happen, though.

Toby Hall - C
The Twins often bring in veteran catchers to send to AAA, as protection against an injury. I thought - huh, there's a guy who has been decent in the past, but whose production has flagged in recent years (despite his absurd .368 batting average in 21 games after being traded to the Dodgers last year - something completely inconsistent with his career numbers). Seems like a possible fit, right? A guy ready to transition into the "veteran journeyman" stage of his career. Well, Hall doesn't seem ready to go quietly - according to Buster Olney (Insider Subscriction required) of ESPN, Hall said the following to the St. Petersburg Times, after being offered a minor league deal with the Devil Rays, his old team:

"That was funny. I guess it would be a minor-league contract because they're a minor league team."

That my friends is how you make friends and influence people . . .

Victor Zambrano - RHP
We don't want Zambrano, but wow, what a horrible trade the Mets made in picking him up from the D-Rays in exchange for Scott Kazmir - just wanted to rub that one in a bit, because it was a stinker of a deal.

Brandon Claussen - LHP
This was the only lefty cut. He used to be a high profile prospect for the Yankees, and actually wasn't bad as recently as 2005 for the Reds (10-11, 4.21 ERA) - but last year he had a 6.19 ERA in 14 starts for Cincy, and that was the end of that. I actually wouldn't mind seeing him signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, but since he's a lefty he'll probably find lots of offers, so a contract with the Twins is highly unlikely.

And that's really about all there is - not exactly a group that makes one's heart go pitter-patter, but then again, these were guys who were just cut from their respective teams, so that's to be expected.

One last night - I plan on posting my Hall of Fame ballot sometime this weekend, possibly as early as tonight if I get sick of studying and need a break. Until then . . .


  • At Fri Dec 15, 11:11:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Did you happen to see the TYIB awards? What a joke! I think you should do some analysis on that and tell everyone why Rivera, Wang, Jeter etc shouldn't have won.

  • At Fri Dec 15, 03:18:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Well, I agree that Wang over Santana is a fairly obvious bit of absurdity, but Jeter won the "best hitter" award, and that's not the same thing as MVP, so I'm going to defer to the fans on that one. As for Rivera - I guess I don't have a problem with him winning that one other. Post-season awards are a dime a dozen, and the only ones that I find all that interesting are the MVP, Cy Young, Manager, Rookie, and Gold Glove winners. Beyond that, I don't have the energy to keep up with them all.


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