Wednesday's activities were filled with trade discussions of a lesser magnitude than on Monday and Tuesday, with everyone's rosters starting to take shape and with Mock GMs becoming less and less likely to create holes in their rosters that would be harder to fill. Here's how I fared for the Twins.
Twins Trade Ryan Doumit to Toronto for Melky Cabrera
After creating something of a backlog of catchers on the roster by signing A.J. Pierzynski early on Tuesday, the Twins made a move less than 24 hours later to help clear part of the log jam by sending Ryan Doumit to the Blue Jays in exchange for Melky Cabrera. Both players had become misfits in their organizations, and Mock GM Jesse Lund believes the swap served the players and the teams.
"We knew that we'd acquired a fly ball guy in Dan," said Lund, "and that a couple of our other pitchers have similar tendencies, and so we were in a situation where we needed to have another guy who is able to run a little bit. Ryan could have played right field for us, but being able to find a true outfielder was the goal."
Cabrera, 29, is entering the last of a two-year deal he signed with Toronto prior to the 2013 season. In 2011 and 2012, he combined to hit .322/.360/.489, but missed the end of 2012 after testing positive for high levels of testosterone. Issues with his legs and left knee in particular slowed him and his production down this season, but Lund sees Cabrera as "hungry" and "ready for a rebound," going on to say:
"I think he's probably going to be between where he was this past season and then where he was in 2011 and 2012. He has a clean bill of health and he feels he has something to prove, and we like that."
When asked about Cabrera's involvement with baseball's Biogenesis scandal, Lund didn't seem concerned. "It's been discussed," he said, "and it's not an issue for us. He's served his time. Everybody knows what he did. Now it's time to see if he can find a way to move on from that, and both he and I think he's up for that challenge in Minnesota. If baseball wants to try and suspend him again we'll appeal it, and if we need to lose Melky later in the season then we'll support him as we can, but then I'd see it as another opportunity for Aaron Hicks to step up and take his own career by the horns. Aaron will figure it out. Until that happens, if it even happens this season, Melky will be our right fielder."
Cabrera spent innings in right as recently as 2012, and he grades out positively in the right field corner according to FanGraphs.
Twins Sign Jeff Baker
Minnesota signed utility man Jeff Baker to a one-year, $3 million dollar contract early Wednesday afternoon. He played five positions in 2013 alone (left field, first base, third base, second base, right field), and it sounds like Lund plans him to be used in platoon situations and off the bench.
"Baker is a monster against left-handed pitching," said Lund in a text. "He'll get some starts here and there, and he'll be a great pinch hitter option late in games against a lefty reliever."
Against left-handed pitchers this past season Baker hit .314/.407/.667, and in his career holds a triple slash of .298/.353/.522.
Twins Sign Ervin Santana
Not satisfied with finding two new starting pitchers to upgrade baseball's worst rotation, Twins Mock GM Jesse Lund may have made his final move by signing right-hander Ervin Santana to a four-year, $40 million dollar deal.
"Ervin was our number one pitching target at the Mock Winter Meetings," Lund said at a press conference wrapping up the day's activities. "We were in on him from day one."
The addition of Santana means that Minnesota's rotation has received nearly a complete overhaul. Lund said he expects the 2014 rotation to include Santana, Dan Haren, A.J. Griffin, Kyle Gibson, and Kevin Correia or Samuel Deduno. "We're going to have an open competition for those last two spots," he said. "I think Kyle's ready, so I'd like to see him come to spring training ready to go. Kevin pitched well for us last season, and so did Sam. Two of those three guys will round us out when we go north."
- It sounds like the Twins were priced out of the Matt Garza sweepstakes. A source close to the negotiations said that Minnesota had offered their former prospect four-year contract worth $60 million.
- The Twins spent a good part of Wednesday looking for an impact bat, but after failing to sign previous targets Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz they didn't find the threat they were looking for.
- Minnesota did make an incentive-laden offer to Justin Morneau. There was eventual interest from Morneau's agent, but by that point the Twins had moved on. It doesn't look like there will be a reunion with the beloved Canadian slugger this season.
- Teams continue to call to kick the tires on Miguel Sano. Sources say that the Diamondbacks were dangling Tyler Skaggs and that the Mets may have had Noah Syndergaard on the table, but it doesn't sound like Minnesota is budging on Sano, Byron Buxton, or their two highest-rated pitchers in Alex Meyer and Kohl Stewart.