Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter meetings, Day One

The Twins reportedly lined up on Monday the return of Matt Capps, which was their big news from the first day of the winter meetings.

The initial Internet response to the well-telegraphed signing is predictably negative.

I'm not enthused, but I'm hardly outraged by the move either. As I've said before, my concern is that the bullpen be deep enough that Ron Gardenhire doesn't wreck his few good arms through overwork. Capps alone doesn't do that, but his presence does deepen the bullpen.

One of the common threads to the objections raised by my blogging brethren —  which I shared in my initial post — is that the Twins are bypassing a compensatory draft pick. Terry Ryan's response to that factor, from the Strib story:

Ryan said compensation picks don't factor much into the Twins' decisions on players. "We'll take it," Ryan said, "but we'd rather have the player."
I don't believe for a moment that the Twins don't take the value of compensation picks into serious consideration. Their historic reluctance to give up first round picks to sign Type A free agents is evidence of that.

But I wonder if they are uncertain today of the real value of those picks under the new labor agreement and the formalized, enforceable restrictions on spending. I haven't seen any explanation of how the spending ceilings are to be set, but if the ceilings are too low, it may be difficult to get high school prospects to sign— which will push teams to overdraft collegians and thin out the quality choices by the time the sandwich picks come up.

If that's a realistic possibility, then Ryan has a good point about preferring the player to the pick. Draft picks are hardly a sure thing.

Pedro Florimon hit .267/.344/.367
at Double A Bowie in 2011.

In a lower profile move, the Twins claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon on waivers from Baltimore.

I don't understand the Florimon pickup. That doesn't make it bad. It just means that it's not transparent enough for me to understand.

Florimon is a switch-hitter, turns 25 on Saturday, and got an eight at-bat cuppa in September. He is said to be fast (although his minor-league stolen base stats don't impress) and struggle with breaking balls. He's been bouncing around between A and AA ball in the Baltimore system for a while, and 2011 was pretty clearly his best season at the plate.

My guess is that he's Triple A fodder rather than a threat to make the 25-man roster. But the Twins saw fit to fill one of their 40-man roster spots with him. I don't know what they have in mind. I doubt he's better than Brian Dozier.


Ron Santo didn't live
long enough to see his
election to the Hall.
As of now, the Florimon pickup gives the Twins 39 players on the 40-man roster. If/when the Capps signing becomes official, the roster will be full, and if the Twins intend to do something in the Rule V draft Thursday — they have the second pick — they'll have to clear a spot. They've picked up so many marginal players on waivers since the last week or so of the regular season (Esmerling Vazquez, Matt Maloney, Jeff Gray, Florimon) that I wouldn't think it that difficult to do.


Ron Santo made the Hall of Fame, which is OK by me. Jim Kaat came one vote shy of getting in; that's also OK. Tony Oliva got eight votes, four votes short of what he needed. Unless the Hall changes the Veterans Committee system (again), Oliva and Kaat will be eligible for consideration again in 2014.


Rumor mill (and my reactions):

  • LaVelle Neal said Monday that there's a growing expectation that Michael Cuddyer will re-sign with the Twins (makes sense to me). 
  • Ken Rosenthal said the Twins are one of four teams who have made an offer to Mark Buehrle (someone else will actually sign him).
  • Rhett Bollinger (MLB.com) said the Twins have a tentative meeting on Thursday with Josh Willingham's agent, apparently as a Plan B on Cuddyer (Cuddyer makes a lot more sense for the Twins for a variety of reasons).
  • ESPN Deportes says the Twins have "expressed interest" in Carlos Guillen (as if they need more guys who can't stay off the DL).

1 comment:

  1. I think the equation to keep in mind with Capps' resigning isn't that a lost pick equals zero. It's what are the odds that Capps improves enough that his trade value becomes more than the value of the pick.