PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 05: Joe Saunders #34 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Four of the National League Divison Series at Chase Field on October 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Things seem to be reaching a boiling point for the Twins. There's been a lot more in the media about the Michael Cuddyer situation than what they usually let leak, which is next to nothing. If there's one thing this front office and this organization does well, it's keeping secrets when they want them kept.
With that, here's some news and speculation that should top off the worst day of the week quite nicely.
- The Twins trimmed three off their 40-man roster today. We just talked about Jose Mijares and his non-tender, but Jim Hoey was claimed by the Blue Jays and Pedro Florimon was assigned to Rochester. Hoey had a rough season with Minnesota and will get one more opportunity to be a big league pitcher in Canada, but why Florimon was ever on the 40-man roster in the first place is a bit of a puzzle to everyone. Now, if anyone can tell me why Terry Doyle, Matt Maloney and Jeff Gray are there, I'd be very appreciative.
- It sounds like the Twins have upped their offer to Cuddyer a little bit, to three years and $26 million, but that might be as high as they're willing to go. We know the Rockies are very interested but apparently haven't made an offer (those two points have been on repeat on Twitter all day), but other potential suitors continue to be silent. There are many things that go into a decision like this, for both the team and the player, so it's impossible to guess with any accuracy as to what's factoring into Cuddyer's decision making, but the longer this goes on the more interesting it gets. And the more people will begin to speculate as to why's of the situation.
- With the impending non-tender of Joe Saunders, teams across the league will show their interest. Saunders is a southpaw, accumulates innings and posts some tempting traditional stats, but underneath it all he's a pitcher in the mold of Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn and Brian Duensing; pitch-to-contact hurlers who don't register many strikeouts and who don't have a big out pitch. On the plus side, Saunders would only cost money (not much at that) and not prospects, and would slide into the Minnesota rotation as the number five starter and second lefty. But he's the guy you pick up when you're just holding spots down for next year...or the year after. He's not the pitcher you go after when you're trying to put together a winning team.
- It's been brought up on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, but if you were the Twins would you attempt to trade for Martin Prado? If so, who would you give up? The Braves don't need pitching but they need outfielders; the Twins don't have much of either they can spare anyway, not at the top levels, and it'd be hard to justify Prado for any of our impressive outfield prospects. Still, if you can work it out, go for it. It's fun to imagine this lineup: Span (CF), Prado (2B), Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Willingham (RF), Valencia (3B), Plouffe (DH), Carroll (SS), Revere (LF). It's dreaming, sure, but what's an off-season without a little optimism?
- Finally, we'll bookend our night by going back to our first point. With Mijares, Florimon and Hoey off the roster, the Twins now have 37 men on their 40-man roster. There is no speculation to go to here, other than to ask: are we waiting for the other shoe to drop? Minnesota cleared a lot of roster space today. Hopefully something is in the works.
Get some rest, we'll see you in the morning.