Five Hours and Counting

Free agency looms.  Will any of the Twins five free agents return?

It's been confirmed that the Twins have had opening talks with Carl Pavano's agent, but other than Ron Gardenhire saying he'd be interested in bringing back Orlando Cabrera as his second basemen there's been no news on the rest of Minnesota's remaining free agents.


Mike Redmond

#55 / Catcher / Minnesota Twins

5-11

200

R

R

May 05, 1971

 


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Mike Redmond 45 135 9 32 5 1 0 7 11 19 0 0 .237 .299 .289



Redmond's had a distunguished career, and he's earned himself a reputation as a "gamer".  He plays hard, he's a leader and he's a mentor.  With Joe Mauer as the game's best catcher and Jose Morales getting his feet wet with some decent results, Redmond's time in Minnesota as a player is likely done.  He'll be 39 next May, and NBP has done the expected and said he'd like to remain with the Twins.

During his five seasons in Minnesota Redmond hit .297/.339/.359 in 931 plate appearances, with 44 walks and 85 strikeouts.  I'll remember him for the "Smell 'Em" bit, for hitting .341 in '06 and for being pretty much the best backup a team could ask for.

Odds for a return in 2010:  Improbable


Ron Mahay

#37 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins

6-2

195

L

L

Jun 28, 1971

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ron Mahay 1-0 16 0 0 0 0 0 9.0 7 3 2 1 3 8 2.00 1.11



The 38-year old southpaw pitched about as well as you could ask him to down the stretch for the Twins, and he helped to solidify the LOOGY role when Jose Mijares lost his mind and threw at Adam Everett.  Over the course of his career he's been a pretty decent relief pitcher, succeeding as a middle relief guy especially when used as that lefty-one-out-guy.  Mahay's struggled with his command for most of his career, and he's averaged 4.4 BB/9 across his last three years.

With fewer positions available than there are arms already it doesn't make sense to bring in a LOOGY when it's going to take seven digits to get him to commit, especially when Mijaries can do the job for a fraction of the cost.  Thanks for the contributions sir, but I think it might be time to shake hands.

Odds for a return in 2010:  Improbable


Joe Crede

#24 / Third Base / Minnesota Twins

6-2

230

R

R

Apr 26, 1978

 


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Joe Crede 90 333 42 75 16 1 15 48 29 56 0 0 .225 .289 .414



He was excatly as advertised in 2009:  great with the glove, some pop in his bat, can't get on base and can't stay on the field.  At points over the last few weeks I've advocated the possibility of bringing Joe back on a similar contract to the one he signed last February, but the more I tihnk about it the worse of an idea it becomes.  If you're going to shell out for a free agent, make sure it's a guy who has a good chance of playing.  Don't pay millions for a guy who will require a contingency plan because he's almost a guarantee to miss stretches of time.  Nick Nelson spells it out much better than I have.

Crede isn't opposed to returning, and I have to agree with Nick:  if the Twins wait this out and try to make something happen at third base but can't by February, then sure, give Crede another shot.  In reality, he might get another shot.  But I won't be upset if he signs elsewhere, and I'm hoping that I can remember him as the guy who hit the grand slam to put us over the White Sox early in the year.

Odds for a return in 2010:  Possible


Orlando Cabrera

#18 / Short Stop / Minnesota Twins

5-9

185

R

R

Nov 02, 1974

 


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Orlando Cabrera 59 242 42 70 13 3 5 36 11 32 2 0 .289 .313 .430



O-Cab was a high-energy guy who brought a buzz to the team when they needed it.  Like Crede he came up with some massive and memorable hits, but also like Crede his overall production doesn't warrant a whole lot of consideration for a return.  He's already showing decline, and at 35 he's not going to get better.

Cabrera was great to have around and I'll remember him not just for his homer in game 163, but for his relationship with Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla, and for giving the club a shot of adrenaline.  Unfortunately second base isn't going to make his millions any more palatable, particularly when there are so many second base upgrades on the free agent market.

Odds for a return in 2010:  Possible


Carl Pavano

#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins

6-5

240

R

R

Jan 08, 1976

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Carl Pavano 5-4 12 12 0 0 0 0 73.2 85 39 38 7 16 59 4.64 1.37



This season was a bit of a revival for Pavano, and he proved himself to be a big game pitcher for the Twins down the stretch.  When he's healthy he's can strike a few guys out and has good command, and while he'll be 34 in January he's still young enough to have another good season or two to give.

Pavano has stated he'd like to return to the Twins, and naturally the prospect of playing for a competetive team like Minnesota will have some draw.  Minnesota's interest is likely mutual, but Pavano's future here (unlike the rest of the guys on this list) will depend greatly on what kind of interest he draws from other clubs and how much they'll be willing to pay him next year.

I expect Pavano to get an offer from the Twins within the next couple of weeks.

Odds for a return in 2010:  Realistic

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