Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Twins Sign . . . Matt LeCroy???

In what is sure to be one of the strangest moves the Twins make all year, Matt LeCroy was signed to a minor league contract yesterday. If he makes the big league club, he'll get $500,000 - which really is a pittance for a veteran player, so I can't complain too much about the money. The odd thing (or, perhaps I should say the oddest thing) about this signing was Terry Ryan's justification for it: "We're looking for some depth in the catching ranks. He's one of the good guys in the game. It just made a lot of sense."

Now, I'm not going to disagree with the "good guy" comment. I like LeCroy - I like his personality, I think he has a good attitude in general. But, of course, General Managers shouldn't be making decisions on who to signed based on who is a good guy and who isn't. I suspect that this is one of the reasons that the Twins offered a contract (and therefore, arbitration) to Lew Ford this year (and please, Lew, feel free to prove me wrong by making the team and being fantastic).

But it's the statement about the Twins seeking "catching depth" that really stings. We're talking about Matt LeCroy - the guy who the Twins didn't feel comfortable keeping around exactly because he wasn't a good catcher. And need I remind anyone of last year's game between the Astros and Nationals in which LeCroy was pulled in the middle of an inning because he was being stolen off of at-will? The game in which Frank Robinson cried because he felt so bad about removing LeCroy? Is Terry Ryan really justifying this signing by saying that the Twins need Catching depth?

Normally, I go along with Terry Ryan. I think he's a great GM. And if he wants to sign Matt LeCroy to a minor league deal and see what happens - well - he's earned the right to do so (after all, he's the GM). But justifying the signing in this way? Well, that's just plain silly.


  • At Thu Jan 18, 02:42:00 PM , Blogger Marty said...

    This deal only forces many questions into my head that I don't want in there: Is Mauer moving from the catcher spot? Is Mauer going to be moving to a different city sometime soon? Does Redmond have cancer? Are those minor leaguers we have really that bad? Is this just a favor to Matt Lecroy for being such a lovable teddy bear? Does Ryan have Alzhiemers?

  • At Thu Jan 18, 04:28:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    My answers to a few of your unwanted questions:

    Q: Is Mauer moving from the catching spot?

    A: Not in the next five years.

    Q: Is Mauer going to be moving to a different city sometime soon?

    A: Not a chance - he may leave via free agency in a couple of years, but the Twins will keep him as long as possible, and probably sign him to a long-term deal at the first possible opportunity.

    Q: Does Redmond have cancer?

    A: I'm not an oncologist.

    Q: Are those minor leaguers we have really that bad?

    A: Well, yes. But Matt LeCroy isn't going to fix that problem.

    Q: Is this just a favor to LeCroy for being such a loveable teddy bear?

    A: This seems like the most probable answer. The fact that he would get paid only $500,000 if he made the big leagues tells me there was NO interest out there from anyone else. I wouldn't be surprised if LeCroy gave it a shot this spring and retired if he didn't make the team.

    Q: Does Ryan have Alzhiemers?

    A: Let's hope Terry doesn't have that or any other unspellable disease.

  • At Thu Jan 18, 05:13:00 PM , Blogger Marty said...

    "I" before "E" except after "C" my ass. It's nice to use a language with absolutely no real rules.

  • At Mon Feb 12, 11:43:00 PM , Anonymous Fuego said...

    I think you're analyzing this too much. LeCroy sucks defensively as a catcher for sure, but he puts up decent offensive numbers and if I were a Twins fan, it'd feel good to know that my fringe major league 3-string catcher is a guy who can get on base and has respectable pop. 3rd string catchers aren't supposed to be good, anyway.

    That being said, he won't catch anyway. They'll probably use him primarily as a pinch hitter and throw him in a DH a few games against left handed pitching or just in case Kubel isn't ready.

    Like you said, 500K isn't bad, and even though LeCroy sucks as a catcher, this move does add depth.

  • At Mon Feb 12, 11:49:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Fuego - thanks for the comment. I don't think I was overanalyzing - LeCroy was let go at the right time a couple of years ago, and while I like the guy, I'm not thrilled to see him brought back in. The point of the post was that the Twins justification (i.e. "we needed catching depth") was bogus - you're absolutely right that LeCroy isn't going to catch (nor should he).


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