Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter meetings, Day 2

Ron Gardenhire's contract as Twins manager expires
after the 2013 season.
Two days gone on baseball's big winter swap meet, and for the Twins -- as for most teams -- it's been all talk and little action.

Ron Gardenhire had his managerial presser Tuesday -- all managers are expected to do one during the meetings -- and his became the Twins story of the day, if only because there was no competition.

He professes to be OK with his current lame duck status; he said, as he has before, that he hasn't had enough success the last two seasons to merit an extension. Terry Ryan, for his part, told reporters that it's on him to get Gardy a better starting rotation.

Which is true -- you can put any of the managers in the Hall of Fame in charge of the current starting staff, and he's not winning a pennant -- but I doubt the sort of upgrades the rotation needs are available or affordable. Anibal Sanchez is reportedly seeking six years, $90 million? Really? And he's generally reckoned the second-best starter on the market (behind Zach Greinke).

Ryan is vague on what he needs to see from Gardenhire to retain him beyond the coming season. It's an offseason of mixed messages for we the fans -- talk of improvement in 2013 is more than countered by an apparent commitment to a young middle infield that is unlikely to hit, the trade of an established position player for a possible future ace and the continued void in the rotation.

It's still early in December, with plenty of time for significant moves, but the pattern so far says Ryan's priority is 2014-15 and beyond. I'm inclined to think that's the proper direction. But I'm also inclined to think that may not bode well for Gardenhire.

The question before the house: Is Ron Gardenhire a good match for a rebuild? I suspect this will be a running theme for the coming winter and season.

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