Free agent classification: Type B
2010 basic stats: 1-1, 1 save, 3.04 ERA (full stats here)
2010 salary: $2 million
The Outsider's verdict: Yes
Jesse Crain has been the very image of inconsistency in his career. In April and May of the past season,he allowed 13 earned runs (and 16 total) in 22 innings -- an ERA of 5.32. He was charged with just 10 earned runs the rest of the season.
|Jesse Crain has pitched|
in 376 games for
the Twins in his career.
When he's good he's very good, and when he's bad he's horrid. A radio wit dubbed him "Crain Wreck," and he's had enough disasters for the derisive nickname to stick.
Still, he was Ron Gardenhire's go-to-guy in the 'pen down the stretch. And he's the most likely of the Twins' crop of free agent middle relievers to be offered arbitration.
He's not starting from too high a base; he deserves the raise arbitration is designed to award; and there will be suitors. The risk in offering arbitration is minimal.
He indicated to MLB.com's Kelly Theiser that he's interested in having a chance to close. That probably isn't on the horizon in Minnesota; the Twins went through three closers from the start of spring training and never appeared to consider putting Crain in the ninth inning role.
Closing, of course, is where the money is for a relief pitcher, and this offseason might be Crain's best chance to cash in.