Friday, October 31, 2014

On with the offseason

The Twins have not been idle since their season ended, but significant moves are still to come.

Prominent among them, of course, is the hiring of the new manager. The choices have apparently been whittled down to Paul Molitor and Torey Lovullo. I have no real objection to either, although, as I've said before, my (relatively ignorant) preference was/is Doug Mientkiewicz. But I will readily admit that Terry Ryan knows far more about those three than I do.

What else looms?

Forty-man roster stuff. Nov. 20 is the deadline to protect Rule 5 eligible players by adding them to the 40. The Twins have three no-brainer guys to add to the 40 in Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer and Eddie Rosario, and there was plenty of others who deserve serious consideration. (I will be quite surprised, for example, if Sean Gilmartin is not added to the 40.)

The Twins have reinstated Mike Pelfrey to the 40-man roster, giving them 19 pitchers, three or four catchers (the roster listed on their website this morning has Chris Herrmann as an outfielder), eight infielders and six or seven outfielders. That's 37 players. I've got to think some more deletions are coming.

The three I think are most likely on the bubble: OF-C Herrmann, 1B Chris Colabello and RHP A.J. Achter.

Hiring a coaching staff. The incumbents are in limbo pending a new manager. Apparently the Twins have not been approached by other teams for permission to talk to any of them for outside jobs.

I think it's safe to presume that Rick Anderson and Scott Ullger will not be back regardless of who the new manager is. And I suspect that Tom Brunansky will be. The rest, I don't know. I've suggested before that Joe Vavra may return to his previous job as minor league hitting coordinator.

The pitching staff. It wasn't good last year, and it's clogged with veterans who are essentially in the way of Meyer, Trevor May and Jose Berrios. We can reasonably figure that Phil Hughes isn't going anywhere. But I have to believe that somebody from the foursome of Kyle Gibson, Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone and Pelfrey will depart by spring training.

A role for Ron Gardenhire. The Twins are going to pay him for the next year anyway. They might as well get something for the money. Gardenhire has not been publicly linked to any of the managerial openings this winter (Tampa Bay has one now), so that resolution seems unlikely.

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