One reason the Mark Rosen notion — that the Twins and Joe Mauer have the framework of a deal in place awaiting the final details — made sense was the possibility that the two sides were working on a schedule of deferred payments.
That theory was shot down Monday by Jim Pohlad:
We try to stay away from deferred compensation. There's a ton of real-life examples of that kind of thinking. It's either going to be somebody else's problem, or we'll worry about it later. Eventually, you've got to worry about it and then, at that point, it affects your current operation. So it's really not a good thing. In the end you've got to pay the money no matter what. You may as well try to do it when the player is playing for you.
Another indication that the Pohlads are in it for the long haul. Many of the deferred comp cases came from owners who intended to sell the team before they started paying out big bucks to players no longer active.
I think the Pohlads are right to stay away from deferred comp. But it does raise the question: If Rosen's report was accurate, what would be delaying the deal?
When is a retired number not retired? Usually it's when the player himself returns to uniform. If Rod Carew, for example, had taken the Twins batting coach position a few years ago when it was open, he'd be wearing his retired No. 29.
In the case of the Chicago White Sox, however, it's more open. On Monday the Sox announced that Omar Vizquel would wear No. 11 — officially retired in honor of Luis Aparicio, the Hall of Fame shortstop. (With, I should add, Aparicio's blessing.)
Vizquel has worn No. 13 through his career, but that's Ozzie Guillen's number, and the manager was keeping it.
The Yankees inked veteran OF Marcus Thames to a contract Monday, adding to a crowded field of candidates for the left field job.
Given the Yankees affection for veterans, the general expectation is that Thames and Randy Winn will platoon in left. Then there's Brett Gardner, who is faster than the other two — and the NUN, New Ulm Native Jamie Hoffmann, the forgotten outfielder on the champs' roster.
It gets increasingly difficult to see how the Yankees can carry that many outfielders.
Meanwhile, I keep looking at the Twins roster and seeing a need for a reserve outfielder who can play defense ... and wondering if there's a fit there for Hoffmann.