Thursday, June 18, 2015

Coming and going

Tyler Jay is reported to have gotten "slot money":
$3.889,500 as the sixth overall selection
Coming: The Twins on Wednesday officially signed Tyler Jay and Alex Robinson, a pair of left-handed college relievers from Big Ten schools (Illinois and Maryland, respectively).

The Twins intend to keep Jay in the bullpen for the remainder of this season and wait until 2016 to test him as a starting pitcher. Worth a second glance is this item: They intend to start his pro career at High-A Fort Myers.

That's unusually aggressive for them. To be sure, it's been a long time since they've used a pick this high (sixth overall) on a collegiate pitcher. But they've usually had even first- and second-round collegians open at Elizabethton, two levels lower than Jay will be. Nick Burdi, last year's second-rounder, went to Low-A Cedar Rapids to get started, and that was unusual. This is another level up. (Burdi, incidentally, has been at Double A all season and is not exactly forcing a promotion at this point.)

The assignment fits this theory: The Twins are leaving the door ajar to a 2016 major league debut for Jay. They're not going to drop that kind of expectation on him publicly, of course. But IF he dominates in the Florida State League, the next move up is Double A. And IF the Twins remain in the playoff hunt, from Double A he's in position to make the kind of move Brandon Finnegan did last summer with Kansas City.

Those are two important IFs, to be sure, and both have to align for Jay to get the majors in September. The Twins aren't going to start his option clock early unless it will help get them to the playoffs, no matter how well he fares in the minors the next two-and-a-half months.


Going: Tim Stauffer, designated for assignment on June 10, was released Wednesday. The Twins wind up eating about $1.3 million of his $2.2 million deal. Or we can consider the entirety of his work with the Twins (6.60 ERA) and say they ate the whole contract.

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