Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bonser, Granderson and Crain

As noted yesterday, Boof Bonser (above) was the loser when Carl Pavano accepted arbitration.

He's arbitration eligible — players get credited for service time when on the disabled list, which was at the heart of Glen Perkins' beef with the Twins in September — and figured to get a $1 million contract. Instead, he'll likely get a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Quite the comedown.

We Twins fans will remember him for his name, of course, but we should also remember his fine pitching down the stretch in 2006, his rookie season — 4-1 in September-October with a 2.63 ERA. That was a promising beginning, but it turned out to be his best season with the Twins.

It said here Tuesday that something had to give in the Twins pitching logjam. Bonser was the first. Perkins may well be next — and LaVelle Neal suggested that the Twins may cut Jesse Crain loose before Saturday's deadline to tender contracts. Crain projects to get $3 million because he's arbitration eligible. If that seems like a lot for a middle reliever who had a 4.70 ERA, you're right. But he had a 2.20 ERA from August on.

Here's the thing: As documented by Joe Christensen, the Twins' projected payroll for 2010 is bumping the $90 million mark. If they're serious about adding a veteran infielder such as Mark DeRosa, they're likely to wind to cut somewhere else.


Former Mankato Masher Curtis Granderson is by all accounts about to become a New York Yankee once a complex three-team trade is finalized — which is pending medical reviews.

Granderson is an eminently likable fellow and a player of talent and flaws. He can't hit lefties, he strikes out a lot and his numbers have declined the past two seasons. His departure is being mourned in the Tigers blogs I keep an eye on — he's the kind of guy fans easily make emotional investments in — but I think the organization is making a good baseball move here. At lot depends on Austin Jackson, the much-touted outfielder Detroit is getting from the Yankees.

What Arizona is thinking, that's another matter. I think Max Scherzer is a more valuable talent than Edwin Jackson, and Daniel Schlereth is a more valuable talent than Ian Kennedy, so what's the point?

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