Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ex-Twins' (mis)adventures in free agency

Spring training is less than a month away, and an impressive number of former Twins are either still trying to find teams or have just landed jobs (or, in some cases, opportunities for jobs).

The market is slim for players who had a big role in turning the Twins from a 90-plus win team to a 90-plus loss team, it would appear.

A quick rundown:

Delmon Young is only 27, but the promise has tarnished.
Delmon Young, last seen bopping postseason homers for Detroit, was nevertheless quickly cut loose by the Tigers. He signed Tuesday with Philadelphia for a piddling (in baseball terms) $750,000 plus more than $2 million in bonus clauses, some of which are apparently tied to making weight at six different weigh-ins over the course of the season.

It always amazes me when a major-league athlete in any sport has weight problems. It was one thing back in the day when players worked offseason jobs to make ends meet; today, when being a jock is a full-time, year-round job, getting out of shape to the extent that Young appeared to be last season signals a significant lack of self-discipline and/or interest in his job.

And he's paying for it. The guaranteed money is a mere $50,000 more than Drew Butera signed for. That speaks volumes to how little interest there was in Young.

The Phillies intend him to be their regular right fielder, but the contract structure suggests that he'd do well to avoid his usual lousy start. The Phils don't have a whole lot committed to him.

Kevin Slowey is
on the player union's
pension committee, but
he isn't on anybody's
40-man roster.

Kevin Slowey, last seen going on a minor league disabled list in the Indians organization and never returning, signed a minor-league deal Wednesday with Miami. The Marlins have lots of openings, but Slowey hasn't pitched much, or effectively, the past two years.

The bridges between the Twins and Slowey were well and truly burned in 2011, but I'd still rather have him than Kevin Correia — which speaks less to my diminishing faith in Slowey's ability to pitch than to my conviction that the Correia signing will be a disaster.

Francisco Liriano's deal with Pittsburgh finally became official this week, long after it was reported. The lefthander apparently fractured his right arm in a bathroom fall, and the two sides had to rework the deal to give the Pirates some protection should that injury for some reason be an issue. It shouldn't. The issue, as always with Liriano, will be throwing strikes.

Matt Capps remains unsigned. So does Jon Rauch, whose departure from the Twins predates their collapse. And, of course, Kyle Lohse is still out there for any team willing to pay the penalty, with agent Scott Boras supplying this awkward metaphor to excuse the length of time his client has been dangling:

It doesn't matter what time dinner is when you're the steak.

Well done, Mr. Boras.

1 comment:

  1. What amazes me, remembering Young's adventures in LF when he was a Twin, that the Phillies actually think he can be their regular right fielder. Don't you want somebody who can actually catch the ball?