Friday Morning Notes: Santana, Mauer, Arizona Fall League Underway

USA TODAY Sports

Just three items of note to get your weekend kicked off.

A healthy breakfast consists of coffee, orange juice, two fried eggs (three if you're hungry), two sausage links (not three because you should barely be able to stomach two), between five and eight pieces of bacon, and then either toast or a stack of pancakes. I'm not a doctor, but I think that's true. The fact that I am absolutely starving while writing this has nothing to do with anything.

Ervin Santana Will Get Qualifying Offer from Royals

One of the pitchers I was planning to keep an eye on this winter in regards to the Twins was Royals starter Ervin Santana. After seeing his value take a nosedive coming into this season, in no small part because his velocity was dropping off and that's a big ol' red flag. The velocity drop was only by a mile an hour, but when coupled with other peripherals the big picture wasn't good.

Santana clearly recovered, bouncing back to post his best season since 2008. He turns 31 in December, which means he could be in line for one more nice contract, but Royals GM Dayton Moore has said that he'll be giving Santana a qualifying offer. Apparently, the Royals don't think they'd be able to compete for Santana's services in another way.


Judging by Santana's tweets, he appears to have enjoyed his time in Kansas City. He definitely enjoyed helping the city's baseball team to its first winning season since 2003. But would he be willing to sign a one-year offer to stay with the Royals? It would mean risking himself a bit this winter, as Kyle Lohse did last year, but his stock may never be higher than it is right now.

Would you be willing to give up Minnesota's second-round pick to sign Santana?

Bollinger: Moving Mauer from Catcher Full-Time Unlikely

On Wednesday, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger answered one question from a fan who seemed certain that Joe Mauer would be moving out from behind the plate. Bollinger feels that's unlikely:

I could see the Twins using Mauer more sporadically behind the plate while giving him plenty of time at first base and at designated hitter similar to what they did in 2011, when he started 72 games at catcher, 42 at DH and 30 at first base. But unless Mauer's stance on catching changes, I still don't see the Twins permanently moving him away from catcher next season.

Pinto put himself in good position for a look at full-time catching duty next year, but still has a lot of work to do defensively, and his impressive offensive production came in the small sample size of just 21 games. So he'll definitely get plenty of starts at backstop next season, but it's too early to anoint him as the starting catcher for 2014.

While he hedges a bit in saying that it will all depend on how well Mauer recovers from his concussion issues, his report jives with what the Twins have been telling us all along. Until Joe proves that he's no longer fit to catch, or until he tells the organization that he wants to move, they'll keep him behind the plate.

Josmil Pinto is unlikely to continue to hit as well as he did in September, but that doesn't mean the Twins won't find him plenty of plate appearances. As Ryan Doumit's days as a catcher dwindle, if Mauer plays first or slides into the DH role, Pinto is all but assured to be the backstop. Even with a fully healthy Mauer in 2014, it's easy to see Pinto getting 50 to 60 starts behind the plate with perhaps just 10 or 15 going to Doumit.

Twins in the Arizona Fall League

Remember that Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Zack Jones, A.J. Achter, and Trevor May are all taking part in the AFL this season. The Glendale Desert Dogs are two games into their season, and you can keep up with their stats here. We'll continue to update you as they get a couple more games under their belts.

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