Monday, January 2, 2012

Dissecting the Bill Smith era: Other trades of 2010

Steve Tolleson got to play in Target Field in 2010,
but not as a member of the home team.
When: Dec. 12, 2009
What: Traded right-handed pitcher Boof Bonser to the Boston Red Sox for right-handed pitcher Chris Province.
Value: Bonser pitched two innings for Boston in 2010 before being released. He has worked 25 major league innings since the trade (all in 2010, mostly with Oakland) with an ERA of 6.12. He recently signed a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants. Province did not pitch well in 2010 in the Twins system and decided to quit playing last spring.
Twins motivation: Avoid going to arbitration with Bonser.

Bonser's once-promising career has been derailed by injuries. As matters stand, nothing to see here.

When: Feb.1, 2010
What: Waived infielder Steve Tolleson, who was claimed by Oakland
Value: Tolleson played in 25 games for Oakland in 2010. He spent 2011 in the minors, was traded in midseason to the San Diego Padres, was released after the season and signed to a minor league deal by Baltimore.
Twins motivation: Open a 40-man roster spot that was filled three days later by the signing of Orlando Hudson.

Tolleson's major league future, if any, figures to be as a utility infielder, and he probably doesn't have the arm to handle the shortstop part of the job.

When: Aug. 25, 2010
What: Claimed Randy Flores on waivers from Colorado
Value: Got 11 outs in 11 appearances for the Twins with an ERA of 4.91.
Twins motivation: Injuries to Jose Mijares and Ron Mahay left the Twins short of lefty relievers.

The Twins took a flyer on Flores, and he quickly fell out of favor with Ron Gardenhire.

When: Aug. 27, 2010
What: Traded right-hander Loek Van Mil to the Angels for left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes
Value: Fuentes gave up no runs in 9.2 innings with the Twins. Van Mil has not pitched in the majors
Matt Fox in his
sole game with
Twins motivation: Injuries to Jose Mijares and Ron Mahay left the Twins short of lefty relievers.

Fuentes -- who had been closing in Anaheim -- was obviously over-qualified for the LOOGY role and was always viewed strictly as a short-term rental. The Twins made no serious attempt to retain him as a free agent, and he signed with Oakland. Van Mil, a unique prospect (7-foot-1 from the Netherlands), had a decent year in Double A and still could, if he ever manages to stay healthy, emerge as a major league relief option.

When: Sept. 9, 2010
What: Waived right-hander Matt Fox, who was claimed by Boston.
Value: Fox has pitched 1.2 major league innings since leaving the Twins. He signed a minor-league deal this offseason with Seattle.
Twins motivation: Opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Ben Revere.

Fox was put on the 40 to make one memorable spot start. My guess is that that will remain the high point of his career.

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