Wednesday Roundup

  • As Jesse noted yesterday, Rob Neyer has joined the SB Nation family. Personally, I couldn't be happier about the move. I've been a huge Neyer fan for years - in fact I wrote about it just a couple weeks ago - and am hoping the change will lead Rob back to his roots writing lengthy, in-depth analysis and commentary pieces, something he'd moved away from in his last couple years at ESPN. Rob is a talented writer with an inquisitive mind, and he's off to a very good start in his new confines.
  • LENIII checks in on Pat Neshek, who is looking at Francisco Liriano's huge comeback year in 2010 as inspiration for his 2011 campaign. It's clear that our bullpen is a big question mark, but bounce backs from Neshek and Nathan could certainly turn a potential negative into a huge positive.
  • But forget the bullpen: the number one thing on Twins fans minds should be the health of Justin Morneau. Here's what we know: he's not 100%. He's working out, but not participating in baseball-related activities. The Twins are still looking at opening day, but have not committed to a timetable. Get well, Justin. Twins fans are rooting for a safe, healthy, productive return.
  • Phil Mackey has an interesting point on his blog: "Since the beginning of 2004, the Twins have handed out 16 total contract extensions to players already under team control, and 13 of those came between January 19 and March 30." Don't be surprised if the final move of the offseason is an extension or two.
  • On that topic, Kelly Thesier reports the Twins have not approached Cuddyer about a contract extension. This is good news; given the outfield prospects in our system, the Twins should be in no rush to guarantee Cuddyer a contract beyond this season.
  • The Orioles came to terms with Justin Duchscherer, yet another "buy-low" target snatched up by Baltimore. It's almost as if Andy MacPhail was reading Twinkie Town before making personnel decisions this offseason: they signed Duchscherer and Derrek Lee, are targeting Vlad Guerrero, and traded for our beloved JJ Hardy. Throw in the acquisition of Mark Reynolds and this may be the single greatest offseason a 96-loss team in a virtually-impossible-to-win division has ever had.
  • In some ways, it almost seems absurd given the ups-and-downs of his career, but 36-year-old R.A. Dickey just signed a two-year, $7.8 million contract with the New York Mets, which includes a team option for 2013. Dickey was a failed first-round draft pick for the Rangers, who became a knuckleballer in 2005 after battling shoulder problems. He bounced between the Brewers, Mariners, and Twins in recent years, before signing a minor league deal with the Mets last season. He proceeded to start 26 games for the Mets in 2010, posting an outstanding 2.84 ERA (and a very good 3.65 FIP). All in all, his new deal with the Mets seems like a good decision for both sides - a little security for him, a potential bargain for the Mets. Oh, and we can add him to the list of former Twins relievers who signed big multi-year deals this offseason.
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