The Twins are dead set on turning last year's rotation into 2013's Rochester rotation, and made another move to that end on Monday, re-signing Samuel Deduno and Esmerling Vasquez to minor-league deals. This, of course, was all reported first by Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.
Both players will be in spring training with the team, potentially competing for the final rotation spot along with P.J. Walters, who also re-signed after being outrighted this off-season. Deduno, who was (gulps hard) arguably Minnesota's second-best starting pitcher in 2012, may have the inside track, among those three. Right now, the starting pitching depth chart looks something like this:
- Scott Baker (assuming the rumors are true and he re-signs like everyone seems to think)
- Kyle Gibson (assuming he gets through the Arizona Fall League in decent shape)
- Cole De Vries (hey, he's still on the 40-man roster)
- Liam Hendriks (same as De Vries)
- Anthony Swarzak (assuming the team still sees him as a starter)
- Anybody else with signs of life left in their body
- Nick Blackburn
Now, I think we all hope that everybody on that list gets bumped down two or three notches with some free-agent signings and trades, but that said, other than Diamond there are no sure things on that list. It's no wonder that Deduno, Vasquez, and Walters chose to come back; a quick look at that list is all it takes to understand why they think they still have a shot.