David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
If the Twins want to come out of these meetings with a positive perception from the fanbase, they're going to have to come away with a player or three.
Typically, the most interesting aspect of Day 4 of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft. The Twins pick early and will definitely be active. It feels as though the Twins will angle for another starting pitcher, a la Scott Diamond in recent history, but there seem to be a good number of potential power options available as well.
Yesterday we heard that the Twins have a number of free agent offers out to players, so in some sense Minnesota is now playing the waiting game. It's their job to convince free agents of some quality that their team, which is unlikely to contend in 2013 and quite possibly 2014, is still a good destination. That can't be an easy task.
Joe Blanton signed for two years and $15 million, plus an option for a third year, with the Angels. In some sense Blanton's contract may set the market for other pitchers the Twins may be interested in, at least in terms of starters who are perceived to not be the bottom of the barrel. I'd imagine pitchers like John Lannan or Kevin Correia could probably still be had for less.
It would be unfair to call the Winter Meetings a bust if the Twins don't come away with a player in-hand, but it's going to be difficult to spin it otherwise. While this is just a four-day stretch and there are still two months to go before pitchers and catchers report, if this organization could tick one or two things off of their to-do list it would set a tone for the rest of the winter and would send a message to other free agents that Minnesota is a legitimate destination.
Terry Ryan and company are very aware that perception can become reality. Let's hope we see the team come away with a little something before we wrap everything up this afternoon.