In their latest attempt to shore up a thin starting rotation and assuage a restless fan base, the Twins announced that they had signed Zack Gruelke and Annabelle Sanchez to incentive-laden one-year contracts.
"We saw the kind of money teams were throwing at players like Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, and we frankly were shocked" said Twins GM Terry Ryan. "That's not a field we feel we can compete on, so we're going in a different direction."
That direction, per a team source, is signing people with names nearly identical to the big market free agent pitchers, "and hoping to God the rubes don't notice."
Gruelke, 49, is an auto parts wholesaler in the Bismarck, North Dakota area. He has never played baseball, but says he keeps himself in "good enough" shape, and looks forward to the challenge of playing major league ball. "It'll be a nice break from the grind, to be honest," said Gruelke. "Once they told me what my per diem was, I was like ‘Sign me up!' I've never even been to a Cheesecake Factory before, and I can go there darn near every road trip now! Their menus are so big!"
Sanchez, 13, is a 7th-grader from Takoma Park, Maryland. In a series of text messages, Sanchez said she was "LMAO-ing at all this drama (frowny-face emoticon) and all the haterssss!!!! hashtag YOLO...its rachet (sic) (smiley-face emoticon). IDK ???"
The team source says that the team is encouraged by fan reaction to other local sports franchises. "We saw a lot of fans get upset with Kevin Love for saying things that are indisputably true about how the Timberwolves have been run," said the source. "The way we see it, our most loyal fans will find that the responsibility ultimately falls on the players to perform. We know that our Zack and Annabelle are going to get flat-out murdered out there, but hey, 2014 is going to be great! Twins territory! Game 6!" The source then ran away at a full sprint.