Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Wednesday Night Notes
Wow! I was so eagerly anticipating the Winter Meetings for the first time in a long time. I mean, I’ve always been very interested in the Winter Meetings, but I really believed that the Twins would be more active, at least in terms of transactions. On Sunday night, I was sure that Johan Santana would be traded by Monday night and soon after, Joe Nathan would be dealt. I figured by tonight, we would be making out rosters and lineups and predicting the starting rotation and who the new closer would be. We would also be making lists of what else the Twins need to do before Spring Training. And yet, here we are, and nothing is really happening. I guess one good thing is that the Twins certainly are popular conversation starters right now. What will they do? When will they do it? Are there any new rumors? Who else are they talking to? What offers are on the table? What’s going on?!
So, it has been very frustrating and yet I am holding to a couple of things. Bill Smith knows what he wants and he is being strong and waiting until he gets it. OR, he is over his head, trying to play tough, and there is a chance that his patience will wear thin and the other teams will move forward which means even less market for Santana. I just happen to think that he is surrounded by Terry Ryan and plenty of other really good, experienced people who have been through this before. I think that it is smart that they are trying to get other teams involved. By at least throwing the names available (potentially) from the Dodgers, Angels, Mariners and maybe even Rangers at least lets the Red Sox (and likely the Yankees) know that there are other options for the Twins. Also, with Cameron Maybin being sent from the Tigers to the Marlins, it makes it pretty clear that the Twins should be able to get Jacoby Ellsbury from the Red Sox.
Here are a few links to a few stories to keep your interest as we continue to wait for something exciting to happen:
· Here is a link to the Ron Gardenhire press conference from earlier today. Here are a few things that he said of note:
about Francisco Liriano:
“I saw him in the Instructional League. The ball was coming out his hand free and easy, and we all know it's a process after the first year back. There's a lot of ifs. Then we see where we're at. He's pretty special talent. He's stronger, I know that, the ball is really coming out of his hand. In Spring Training we'll see where he's at. He feels great. It was free and easy and the ball was really popping pretty good. That was an exciting thing when I went down there.”
On Delmon Young:
“His past doesn't worry me at all. I've known Dmitri for a long time. He plays the game, has fun, and watching this young man play was the same way. He went out and played the game. He worked hard. He was at the ballpark early. Those things bode well for our ball club. We like that kind of player. I think he'll be fine. He's a young hitter.”
no! Not this AGAIN:
“We have young pitchers with good, young arms. There's some veteran pitchers out there that we've looked at, possibility of signing and bringing some people in to compete. Some of our young guys need more time.”
Nick Punto (take a deep breath!) being in the lineup
“I would like to -- I like having him on the field. I like the way he plays. I like the way he separates offense, defense. He's a very entertaining baseball player. He's as good as they get with that glove, no matter where you put him and offensively, if he learns to get back to the basics of putting the ball in play a little more and on the ground and out of the air, he's a pretty good player. He can do a lot.”
the bullpen (Note the Reyes comment… scary!):
“Well, you got Nathan at the end, and then we've got Rincon. Jesse Crain is going to be coming back. Reyes had a lot of injuries last year. That's a solid lefty. Matt Guerrier stepped up where we can use him anywhere. Neshek kind of wore down. We used him a lot early part of the year last year and wore down, but he's pretty good. We have good arms, and we have a little variety in our arms.”
Angels All the Way and had to laugh:
“A WWW offer (Weaver, Wood, Willits) is better than what has been offered. We could include Ervin Santana just so the Twins fans who bought Santana jerseys don't have to recycle them.”
· David Pinto of Baseball Musings wrote a great article for The Sporting News on the Tampa Bay pitching staff with the addition of Matt Garza. He looks pretty critically at it and the summary would be that they could be pretty good in 2008!
· Dan Levitt of Baseball Analysts took the most comprehensive look at the transactions of Terry Ryan. How did he do? Check it out!
· I didn’t want to miss these notes from La Velle’s article on Tuesday. Lew Ford appears close to signing with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese League. That is the team that Fukodome will likely be leaving to come to America. Secondly, the Twins signed reliever Casey Daigle who is best known as being Mr. Jennie Finch.
· The Greatest Athlete of all time! In my opinion, there is no doubt about it!
· Finally, a source close to the situation tells me that Michael Restovich will be signing a contract with the Fukuoku Hawks. The contract is for one year, with a second year option.
· Update – 11:55 p.m. – Andruw Jones just agreed to a two year, $36 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Same annual salary as Torii Hunter signed for, but for just two years. Probably a good deal for both sides.
After days of anticipation and lots of talk, there is pretty much nothing going on. Maybe that means that there will be a sudden run of moves. But right now, there really isn’t even a lot being talked about and discussed. So, let us know if you are hearing anything.