Are there really any surprises? We'll throw in some other candidates who, while not technically non-tender candates, are still players whose rosters spots are in doubt.
|2009 - Brendan Harris||123||414||44||108||22||1||6||37||29||78||0||2||.261||.310||.362|
Brendan's offensive projections coming into 2009 weren't unreasonable. In fact, five of the more popular oracles all had his OPS coming in between .715 and .750, and those all seemed about right considering the last couple of years he's had. Instead he turned in a .672 performance, his lowest since his rookie season in 2004. In general he walked less, hit fewer line drives and his plate discipline fell off as well. In the field, his ability to play multiple positions aside, there's no advantage to be found.
All of Minnesota's middle infielders struggled this season, but with Harris A) not under contract for 2010, B) due a significant raise in aribitration and C) with less expensive options available to fill his shoes, Brendan's future with the Twins isn't guaranteed.
|2009 - Brian Buscher||61||136||14||32||3||1||2||12||24||35||0||0||.235||.360||.316|
Buscher's fate could be tied to any number of things, but largely his future with the Twins will boil down to what the organization wants to do with other players. If the Twins feel Luke Hughes or Daniel Valencia are ready to step in it will depend on whether they'll be happy with an inexperienced but familiar backup who can hit right-handers. In spite of the fact that he'll be due less money than Harris in 2010, their fates could be tied to each other if Minnesota brings in a veteran third baseman.
The only way both of these players return, and feel free to point out how wrong I am if I'm missing something, is if the Twins believe that a Harris/Buscher platoon at the hot corner is their best option going forward. But between the trade market for third baseman, the free agent market for third basemen and a pair of decent third base prospects due to break into the majors at any time, I have to believe their days in Minnesota are numbered.
#26 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Oct 14, 1981
He still has the best name on the roster, and personally I'd be surprised if he wasn't tendered a contract this winter, but you can certainly make a case that his status could be in doubt.
- Bonser will be due arbitration in 2010.
- Put that extra money on top of disappointing '07 and '08 campaigns, and a completely missed '09, and you could argue that the money going to Bonser would constitute an uneccessary risk.
- The Twins have a lot of young, pre-arbitration starters available.
A lot of how you view this decision depends on your faith in Bonser's abilities going forward. He did pitch better than his numbers might indicate in '07 and especially '08, but can he consistently use his fastball/curveball combination effectively for a full season as a starter?
|2009 - Philip Humber||0-0||8||0||0||0||0||0||9.0||17||8||8||1||9||9||8.00||2.89|
Unless this organization is seeing something I'm not seeing, I don't see a reason to hang onto Humber at this point. The fact that he's not currently on the 40-man roster works to his advantage, because it does mean that if the Twins want to keep him in Rochester next season as a little insurance they can without using up a roster spot. But for a guy who will be 27 next season, who is essentially a two-pitch pitcher and who's really struggled with his command as a general rule in the majors, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the axe.
|2009 - Delmon Young||108||395||50||112||16||2||12||60||12||92||2||5||.284||.308||.425|
No, no, no, no, no. A thousand times, no. I know he hasn't panned out so far but he'll still be just 24 in 2010, and maybe the Twins need to get inside his head a bit. Every morning tell him it's September. I don't know, but especially with nobody to push him next season coming up through the system there's is absolutely zero reason to even consider this.
|2009 - Jesse Crain||7-4||56||0||0||0||0||0||51.2||48||28||27||3||27||43||4.70||1.45|
A solid end to the season hasn't stopped speculation from some that, due to the kind of money he'll get through arbitration this year, he should be considered a non-tender candidate. The bullpen is already considered to be a position of strength for the Twins in '10, with Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch and Jose Mijares all performing well this season, Pat Neshek due to be back and ready to pitch and, of course, Joe Nathan at the end of it all.
Is $2,000,000+ too much to pay for a relief pitcher who isn't a closer? You could argue it's too much to pay a closer. But with Nathan, Guerrier and Rauch all making millions in the 'pen, is it a wise decision for this organization to spend so much in an area typically manned by less expensive players? There are options, internally as well as externally.
Personally I'm optimistic about the relief corps next season, but I still think Crain needs to stick around. If he's part of a trade, okay, I get it, but with the troubles this team had with the 'pen for most of the season I'm not above thinking that depth isn't a bad thing to had. Especially considering how Jesse pitched down the stretch. If we want the bullpen to really be a strength for the Twins in 2010, Crain should be a part of it.
|2009 - Glen Perkins||6-7||18||17||0||0||0||0||96.1||120||64||63||13||23||45||5.89||1.48|
There's been a lot of publicized stress between Perkins and the organization over the last few months. No matter who you think is right, if anyone really is, there is strain on the relationship. If both sides decide to work through it, good for them, but I'm not sure that can happen.
Around the site it's been discussed that Perk could be part of a trade package. I think that's more likely than a non-tender, but you never know. This one is a tricky call, and a lot of it depends more on whether the two sides can kiss and make up, rather than anything financial or roster space related.
#71 / Catcher / Minnesota Twins
Aug 09, 1983
This is a reality, although it may surprise some. There are a lot of good catchers in this system, with Joe Mauer and Jose Morales sitting right at the top. Wilson Ramos is already on the 40-man roster. With Drew there's a real possibility of the Twins being able to slip him through waivers and re-sign him off the 40-man, but if the organization wants a little flexibility with their roster (which they do need) Butera might be one of the odd men out.
#11 / Center Field / Minnesota Twins
Oct 09, 1983
I think that facial hair is reason enough, but realistically there isn't much more you can expect from Pridie going forward. It's looking more and more like his triple-A campaign for the Rays in 2007 was indeed a fluke, as he continues to strike out without walking or really making good, consistent contact. And with younger, better performing outfielders like Rene Tosoni on their way up and deserving playing time, it would surprise me to see Pridie back in Rochester in 2010.
|2009 - Justin Huber||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500||.500||.500|
Justin had a fine season in Rochester, and while he's getting on a bit in age it's interesting that both Randy Ruiz and Garrett Jones (players of a similar makeup) went on to have career years with the Blue Jays and Pirates respectively. Huber is capable of that kind of production if we're looking at his minor league numbers. But it's unlikely a player of his limited defensive skills would be able to find regular playing time with the Twins, and no doubt a guy like Erik Lis is due a promotion to Rochester.
There is space in the majors for players like Huber, but it has to be with the right club who can afford him a roster spot. He's not a bad insurance policy, the kind of guy you can look at and say "okay, maybe", but I'm not sure this is the right organization for him.
What are your thoughts?