Notepad Scribbles, 11/6/10

As it turns out, I lost in a landslide. It appears as though I put up a valiant effort for all of 13 minutes before I succumbed to the machine that is Christie Wilcox.* However, I still received $100 just for being a finalist, so I’m not as upset as I could have been. It was a bit humorous, though, seeing all these people claim that Christie was cheating. Apparently it was not fair that she was linked to a popular science website, which helped gather her large total of votes. I’ll remember that next time so I can avoid contacting Aaron Gleeman, the biggest Twins blogger I know.

* Fortunately, I did not succumb to The Machine that is Pat Burrell. Wait, that might be worse…

I can still have a little fun with this thing, so in the next 30 seconds or so I’m going to type up some half-assed jokes about my last place finish.

1. This was like watching the Twins play the Yankees – oh, too soon?

2. I should have just had the Twitter Fail Whale instead of a percentage under my name.

3. I really owe my girlfriend after she voted for me 113 times.

4. Now I know that blogging about the Twins is going to take me nowhere.

5. That $100 was in Monopoly money… and it’s not even a $100 bill, I was given 100 $1 bills, so instead of one worthless piece of paper, I received 100 worthless pieces of paper.

The first quasi-significant offseason move is…

…the Toronto Blue Jays acquiring catcher Miguel Olivo from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later or cash. Normally, a team would make a trade with the thoughts of keeping the acquired player(s) or trading the acquired player off to another team (the “three-team trade”), but instead the Blue Jays chose to pay Olivo a $500,000 buyout, making him a free agent. The thought process appears to be that the Blue Jays will offer Olivo arbitration, hope he declines, and then cash in on the compensatory draft pick because he is a Type-B free agent (explanation on why is located here). There is a bit of risk, because the Jays most likely plan on having J.P. Arencibia as their starting catcher in 2011, and they already have Jose Molina as a backup, but I’m sure that Olivo would rather become a free agent and hope for a guaranteed starting job rather than fight with Arencibia and Molina just for a roster spot. For $500,000 plus the cash or non-prospect going back to Colorado, the Jays may have just plucked a 1st round draft pick. Not bad.

The first moves in the Twins’ offseason

According to Joe Christensen, the Twins re-signed pitcher Kyle Waldrop, catcher Jair Fernandez, and outfielder Juan Portes to minor league contracts, and released infielders Brock Peterson, D’Angelo Jimenez, and Matt Macri, outfielder Jacque Jones, and pitchers Tim Lahey, Mike Maroth, and Charlie Zink.

Re-signing Waldrop was a no-brainer. He spent all of 2010 in Triple-A Rochester, where he had a 2.67 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 20 walks in 87.2 innings pitched. It sounds like he has an excellent sinker, and not only should be added to the 40-man roster, but will also likely spend a significant amount of time in the major leagues in 2011.

Bringing back Fernandez is likely just as organizational depth, considering Joe Mauer is entrenched in the catcher’s spot for the next 7 years, and Drew Butera and Jose Morales both form a duo of competent backups.

Juan Portes seemed to be a diamond in the rough when he caught attention during spring training by tying for the spring training lead in home runs for the Twins, but that was really the only positive he had all year. Repeating Double-A last season, Portes hit only .213/.287/.331. This was a huge drop-off compared to his past 3 minor league seasons, so perhaps the Twins are hoping that 2010 was just an anomaly.

When it was announced that the Twins had signed Jacque Jones, many people envisioned him as a backup to Denard Span, Delmon Young, and Michael Cuddyer for 2010. Although he did receive two standing ovations, one at each exhibition game at Target Field, it’s clear that Jones just cannot hit anymore at the major league level. While at Triple-A Rochester, his batting average was just fine at .280, but his power is gone (only 4 home runs) and he still doesn’t walk, while providing plenty of strikeouts.

D’Angelo Jimenez was quietly signed in the middle of the season, even though he’s spent 8 seasons in the major leagues. This wasn’t really much different than the Mark Grudzielanek signing in 2009, and Jimenez confirmed that with a .225/.300/.381 batting line at Triple-A Rochester.

You may remember Matt Macri when he cracked the major leagues in 2008 and hit over .300 in 36 at-bats. He wasn’t that bad in Rochester this past season, hitting .251/.322/.405, but when you’re 28 years old, still can’t dominate in the minors, and the major leaguer at your main position is as young and talented as Danny Valencia, it’s tough to keep even a minor league job.

I feel that releasing Brock Peterson is the most surprising move made by the Twins. Although he hit .245/.333/.439 last year (not exactly great for a first baseman), the uncertainty of Justin Morneau’s concussion could make the Twins one Michael Cuddyer injury away from needing a first baseman. Perhaps they’ll pursue one in free agency.

Finally, Tim Lahey has spent the past three seasons in Rochester, and he posted a 5.00+ ERA in all three seasons. Releasing him wasn’t really a tough decision. Mike Maroth and Charlie Zink were signed as organizational depth, but they didn’t provide very much of it as they each made only 3 starts in 2010 and both spent significant time on the disabled list.

Final Announcements

I know the playoffs are over, but I still think some of you would like to see this graphic about the 2010 playoff teams. It has some interesting information about each team and some of their players.

Finally, if you haven’t picked up your Twins 2010 Offseason GM Handbook, I highly recommend buying one. For only $9.95 you’re given plenty of information about what you can expect the Twins to do in the offseason, plus you have the chance to make your own moves to construct the 2011 roster. The TwinsCentric guys asked the Twins bloggers to draw up our own offseason blueprint, so you can look forward to seeing mine sometime over the weekend or early next week.

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