One thing they did do: Re-sign Yorman Landa, the relief prospect they non-tendered last week to open a spot on the 40-man roster. So the machination to set themselves up for the Rule 5 draft didn't cost them the player -- at least not yet. Landa was added to the 40 last year to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and now he's eligible to be taken. Had the Twins waited until, let us say, Friday to sign him, he wouldn't be. (And, perhaps, somebody else would have.)
Probably immaterial anyway. Landa has a big arm, yes, but he also missed the last two months of the season to injury and hasn't pitched above High-A ball. Still, I remember the winter in which the Twins signed R.A. Dickey to a minor league deal early in the offseason and saw him snatched away in Rule 5 by Seattle.
Meanwhile, one division rival -- the Chicago White Sox -- launched a belated rebuild by dealing ace lefty Chris Sale to Boston for a packet of prime prospects, and another -- Kansas City -- is apparently about to trade away bullpen ace Wade Davis. You can find more in-depth commentary on those moves elsewhere; I'll just make these general statements:
- I can see the Sale trade backfiring for either side.
- There are more such veterans-for-prospects trades coming from the White Sox, who are finally done trying to go for it every year with a declining talent base.
- Dave Dombrowski inherited a rich farm system when he took over in Boston. He has now traded four of his top five prospects. This is what he does.
- (David) Price and (Chris) Sale are a pair of aces made for punning headline writers.
- The new labor deal and its limitations on draft-pick compensation for teams losing free agents may have hurt the Royals more than any other specific franchise. K.C. has a lot of key players with contracts and control expiring in the next two years, and the only way for them to restock the talent base is by trading at least some of them now.