Friday, December 4, 2009
I read a lot of comments from Twins fans at this time of the year, and they vary. Some are frustrated because the Twins donít go out and sign big name free agents. Some are frustrated because the Twins are not involved in as many rumors as other teams. Some Twins fans see Placido Polanco signing with the Phillies and wonder why the Twins were never really involved in any rumors involving him. Marco Scutaro is apparently signing with the Red Sox and fans are frustrated that he was never mentioned. Some want to see the Twins sign a Type A free agent and forfeit a draft pick and over pay in dollars and years for players that have already seen their best years. And there are some fans who are frustrated by lack of information on negotiations with Joe Mauer. With the Winter Meetings set for next week in Indianapolis, I thought it appropriate to blog on some of these topics.
What are the Winter Meetings about for the fans? Well, as happens every year, there are a few free agent signings made right before the meetings. That gets fansí hopes up that there will be a lot of moves made, specifically by their team. The Winter Meetings mean that baseball fans will go to www.MLBTradeRumors.com and hit refresh about every five minutes throughout the whole week. At the meetings, GMs, agents, some players and the media walk around a hotel lobby, hold meetings and talk baseball. In general, all it takes for a rumor to start is for an agent to mention a team name, or a GM to mention a playerís name. It gets onto a blog or a sports report, and it flies around the country in a hurry. If you arenít already on Twitter, you may want to sign up now (and follow @SethTweets)! It is a fun time for fans to dream.
Twins fans know a couple of things going into the meetings. The Twins front office will hold meetings with agents and other teams. They will talk about years and dollars regarding a bunch of players. We will also hear a few rumors. But compared to other teams, the Twins will appear relatively quiet. Why? Because the Twins donít talk. They donít give out their plans. They donít really address any rumors. Fans, that is a good, smart thing!
A lot of Twins fans are not happy about that. As much as I want the Twins in the news and hear a lot of names rumored to be coming to the Twins, I am perfectly fine with not knowing anything. Why should the Twins brass give away their plans and their trade secrets? Generally speaking, the Twins do things quietly, behind the scenes. Do you remember reading rumors about the Twins and Rays talking about Matt Garza and Delmon Young before that trade was made? Very little.
The worst right now is all of the talk about Joe Mauer. As I wrote the other day, the biggest non-story was the alleged deadline for a deal, which Mauer texted to LaVelle E Neal was not true. Honestly, I donít care if it is reported that the two sides have had general conversation about a deal, are heavily negotiating, or are yet to start negotiations. All I care about is that the two sides are talking. They donít need to negotiate through the media. What good does that do? One day, we will just hear about a press conference and we will find out that Joe Mauer has signed an extension. I donít care if it happens by Christmas, at the onset of Spring Training, on Opening Day, or my prediction, January 26th. The Twins are very quiet and confidential. Joe Mauer is very quiet and confidential. Maybe stressing would be better for me, but Iíve got enough other stuff to stress about than to worry about some stuff that I have no control over. Iím pretty sure that there is nothing that I could tell Bill Smith about Joe Mauer and why he should remain a Twin that he hasnít already thought about.
I love all the rumors. But it is also something that we have to take with a grain of salt. I mean, maybe Orlando Cabrera is marketing himself as a 2nd base option. He shouldnít be, and I think we are all smart enough to know that the Twins arenít bringing him back. I am certain that the Twins and Marlins have and will have discussions on potential deals. But the Twins arenít going to get Dan Uggla and a potential top of the rotation starter like Josh Johnson or Ricky Nolasco. We all know that. Iíd love to see the Twins go after either of those pitchers though! So as youíre reading through MLBTradeRumors.com, you can sift through those rumors and †know that some just arenít going to happen, and some may make sense.
I fully believe that the Twins will remain active throughout the offseason. †They already added a new starting shortstop. Often times, very little happens at the Winter Meetings, but having all of those people there, in one place, encourages thinking, and thinking outside the box, and things can happen later because of it.
On Monday, Iíll jot down the things that I believe the Twins need to work on the rest of the offseason, starting with the Winter Meetings. †
This is the fun time of the year. Itís so early in the offseason, that Iím not ready to be excited by names like Carl Pavano, Jarrod Washburn or Placido Polanco. If I am going to hear rumors, I want to hear about guys like Josh Johnson, Felipe Lopez or Matt Cain.
So, you can certainly use the comments section to talk Twins, Twins rumors, deals made by other teams with players you thought the Twins should go after, or whatever you want to talk about. It should be a fun and interesting week!
∑ Be sure to head over to Twinkie Town and vote on the Twinkie Town Top Prospect list. Right now, you can vote for the Twins top prospect. By late afternoon on Friday, a winner will be determined and the vote for #2 will start right away. Roger D and I are going to be trying to put that together. †