Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Morales on the Way

Just yesterday, it sounded as if Terry Ryan was rather adamant about not calling up a fourth catcher to help the Twins through the Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond injuries. In fact, after reading Ryan's comments in the Strib, I almost posted something speculating on why the Twins wouldn't call up a fourth catcher, despite the fact that it makes so much sense to call up Jose Morales to fill this role.

My decision to hold off on writing that article paid off today when the Twins announced that Morales will be added to the roster in time for tomorrow night's game against the White Sox. That will fill the Twins roster at 40, and make any other non-roster additions highly unlikely for the remainder of the season (for the simple reason that the Twins probably aren't going to drop anyone from the roster over the last 3+ weeks of the season to make room for someone).

I think adding Morales to the roster makes tremendous sense. He would have been a minor league free agent (originally misstated as "eligible for the Rule 5 draft -- thanks to Anon for the catch) this winter if he hadn't been added, and after the season he had in AAA, it's very unlikely that he would have remained the property of the Twins. With the Twins in a bit of a catching quandary, why not call him up now? I suspect that the only reason TR hesitated was due to service time -- once Mauer and Redmond are healthy again, neither Heintz nor Morales is going to play much, so the argument against adding them to the roster would be that you're wasting a few weeks of service time rather unnecessarily. Since it's such a small amount of time, however, I'm not that worried about the implications. Clearly, after thinking about his options, TR decided it wasn't that big of a deal either. I can't wait to see Morales make his debut -- maybe he'll get his shot on Friday.



  • At Thu Sep 06, 05:30:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It looks like Morales, who was drafted in 2001, would be a minor league six-year free agent if he hadn't been added to the roster. So, for the Twins at least, the rule 5 draft isn't really relevant.

  • At Thu Sep 06, 06:30:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    yes, you're right -- either way, I knew that he was likely to be gone had he not been added to the roster. I think I listed him correctly the last time I commented on him. Good catch.

  • At Thu Sep 06, 08:47:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The other thing you should consider is that the Twins now have to pay Morales a major league salary. That will probably cost them somwhere between $75-100000 for the month when you get done with all the taxes and other costs. My guess is that may be a more significant concern than service time.

  • At Thu Sep 06, 09:16:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Regardless of the cost, I sincerely hope that after dumping the salaries of Luis Castillo, Jeff Cirillo, and Ramon Ortiz that the Twins aren't concerned about $60,000 give or take (I'm estimating his cost a bit lower than you are, but I could be wrong). They needed the catcher, after all. It's a point to consider, and may very well explain TR's reluctance -- but if that's the answer to the puzzle, it's awfully miserly.

  • At Thu Sep 06, 11:15:00 PM , Blogger Marty said...

    The chance Morales could come even close to duplicating the season he just had in AAA is well worth the 60,000 dollar investment. (By close I mean playing 70 games as a back up and hitting .290).

    For team that trashed a million dollars on Ponson I think it's money well spent.

  • At Fri Sep 07, 02:35:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Marty -

    Whether Morales is worth it or not, if they didn't put him on the active roster during the season they wouldn't have to pay him anything. So its not an investment, its just an expense.

    The other thing is that Morales is apparently still pretty unpolished as a catcher. I don't think he is going to get 70 games as the major league backup any time soon.


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