Why the Neshek waiver bothers me

Like many Twins fans, I'm not happy to see Pat Neshek gone. On the field, it was great watching his funky sidearm delivery, and off the field, there weren't many players more involved with the fan base. And he may not have pitched well lately, but it's hard not to remember his lights out 2007 season.

If you haven't read it, Kelsie Smith of the Pioneer Press gives a little more information on the Neshek waiver in this article. Before reading it, Neshek being waived bugged me from a personal standpoint. After reading Smith's article, the waiver is bothering me from a professional standpoint as well.

Kelsie Smith includes a few important points of information. First, Neshek had one option remaining. He could have been sent down to the minors. Second, Neshek wasn't waived in order to clear a spot on the 40 man roster. In fact, according to Bill Smith, the Twins do not immediately plan on filling Neshek's spot on the 40 man roster; that spot could be vacant for "two weeks or six months." So it wasn't a waiver to clear a roster spot for someone else.

Keeping that in mind, to me there are a few reasons to trade Neshek. First, because the team thinks that in the next year, he won't recover completely from his injury, and the team wants to save $625k. That seemed to be what most people were thinking in the earlier thread tonight on Neshek. Second, Neshek was waived because there was no room for him in AAA. Or, alternatively, Neshek was waived because he was on the outs with the Twins - he's had some clashes with the Twins in the past, such as the misdiagnosed thumb injury early in the 2010 season.

According to the article, Bill Smith said that Neshek was waived once the Twins realized he would not have a spot in the MLB bullpen. When asked if the team tried to trade Neshek, Smith replied that putting Neshek on waivers "was the best option for him at this time." We can't tell the org's motivation from anything Bill Smith has said, but given the nature of GM statements, and Smith in particular, we probably shouldn't expect any more clarification.

Kelsie Smith also writes on her Twitter feed that Neshek had "clearly had fallen out of favor" with the Twins. She thinks that the Twins tried to trade Neshek, but, failing that, decided to outright waive him.

So, there you go. We don't have anything solid on why Neshek was waived, but we have a reporter saying he's had a falling out with the team. We know he has a history of problems with the team. We don't have any rumors about the Twins wanting to save on salary, and 625k is not a significant chunk of a $115 million payroll.

Based on all of that, my guess is that this is a decision based on a personal clash rather than on payroll. Even if it's not, when our bullpen is this full of question marks, I think it's worth the $625k investment to take a gamble on Pat Neshek. Maybe he'll never recover to MLB-ready levels, but we wouldn't be paying much to him in any case. Low risk, with a chance at a good reward. I also don't buy that there's no room for Neshek in AAA. Why not shift around one of the guys not in contention to make the team, like Dumatrait, Baldwin, Province, or Bazardo? I have to think Neshek has a better chance of contributing than they do.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on why I don't like Neshek being waived. In the comments, let me know if you agree, disagree, or have become enraged (because someone is wrong on the internet!).

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