I'm ripping off Stu and giving you a soundtrack. This is a fun one from the Pixies. They're back, people.
Now that you have something to listen to, let's get down to business.
Twins Trade Ryan Doumit to Braves for Sean Gilmartin
Wren said he viewed Doumit as the best player available to fill his bench need because "he's almost two players in one."— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 18, 2013
Well, he's a corner outfielder who you really don't want to catch. Firstly, because for his own personal health issues it's for the best if he's not exposed to too many foul tips off the face mask, and second, because he's actually really, really bad at catching. I think it's probably more accurate to say that Doumit used to be almost two players in one.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out our coverage of yesterday's trade.
- Twins Send Ryan Doumit to Braves for LHP Sean Gilmartin
- Twins Trade Doumit: Roster Fallout
- Scouting Report on Sean Gilmartin
Twins Were In On Eric Chavez
Too late now and apologies for just now finding this out, but the #MNTwins were in on Eric Chavez, per source. Are open to a 3B platoon.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) December 18, 2013
That would have been a good idea, and I can't even tell you how good it feels just to hear that the Twins are open to a platoon. Is it just lip service? Maybe. But Chavez would have been a nice platoon partner.
Chavez's decline started after his age-26 season in 2004, but injuries and poor play helped him bottom out in 2008. From '08 through '11, Chavy averaged just 30 games per year and hit a combined .238/.288/.341. The guy had hit more than 200 homers through his age-28 season and looked like one of the best offensive and defensive third basemen of his generation, and then it all fell apart.
Sorry, I'm digressing. In his last two seasons Chavez has averaged 96 games played and hit .281/.341/.488 in that span. He's been an extreme platoon player, getting 85% of his plate appearances versus right-handed pitchers. He would have been the perfect platoon partner for Trevor Plouffe, although his usage would have needed to have been carefully monitored. Unfortunately he's back with the Diamondbacks, likely getting a raise from the $3 million he made in 2013.
Kurt Suzuki - In or Out?
Nothing going on with #MNTwins and Kurt Suzuki -- "yet" -- per PWDK. Said to be in talks with a few other teams.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 18, 2013
I'm more likely to buy into Berardino than Rosenthal, with no disrespect intended to the bow-tied wonder. We know the Twins are in on SOME catcher though, somewhere, and it could be Suzuki or John Buck or Kelly Schoppach or Lou Marson or...keep guessing. We also know that the Twins are notoriously tight-lipped about their plans in regards to specific players, and when something is in progress they say even less. So really, either the Twins are interested...or they're not. Let's just move along.
Royals Acquire Danny Valencia
For the cost of David Lough, Kansas City was able to pry Danny Valencia away from the Orioles. He's on the Royals' 40-man roster and might challenge for a bench spot out of spring training, where he could back up Mike Moustakas and potentially compete with Emilio Bonifacio and Pedro Ciriaco for an infield bench spot. At least, that's the take from a guy looking at the Royals from the outside, so I could be wrong.
Valencia hit .304/.335/.533 in 170 plate appearances last season, thanks in no small part to a .405 batting average on balls in play versus left-handed pitching where he managed 60% of his plate appearances - good for a triple slash of .371/.392/.639. There's no doubt that Danny sees the ball a lot better coming from a left-handed pitcher, and his line drive splits bear that out last year (13% line drive rate versus right-handed pitchers, 26.5% versus southpaws), but it's still atypical of Valencia's abilities. Still, he could end up being a nice pickup for Kansas City if they use him in a pure platoon.
Rob Antony Promoted
Congratulations are in order for Rob Antony, who has been promoted to Vice President/Assistant General Manager. His job description, according to the press release from the Twins:
In his role, he will be responsible for Major League contracts, including arbitration, evaluating Major and Minor League players, and overseeing the club's video, baseball analytics and baseball communications departments.
Well done, Rob Antony! Here's hoping you're not too busy for our annual catch-up in a few weeks!