October 7, 1990. In an interview yesterday, Twins GM Andy MacPhail discussed the trades made during last season’s disappointing last place finish in the AL West, and the moves likely to come this offseason.
"Of course we didn’t want to trade Dan Gladden," said MacPhail, "He was a big part of our 1987 World Series championship team. But the Twins have now had two sub-par seasons. The team is getting older, and we decided we needed to to move in a growth direction."
Gladden, 32, was traded to Cleveland in July for two minor league prospects. John Moses took over his outfield duties for the remainder of the season. Explained MacPhail, "When we traded Gladden, we were already 13 games behind Oakland. Cleveland was making a run at the time and was looking for a veteran outfielder."
In August, the Twins sent 30-year old Brian Harper to the Chicago Cubs for rookie pitcher Shawn Boskie and 25-year old catcher Hector Villanueva. The Cubs at the time were looking to move Joe Girardi from behind the plate. "As much as we like Harper’s bat, we think Junior Ortiz had a great year and is a little better with the glove and also at calling games. And we were able to get two nice young players in return."
Don’t look for the Twins to make many free agency moves in the off-season, said MacPhail.
While it appears Chili Davis will be granted free agency by the Angels, his contract would make him one of the highest paid Twins on a rebuilding, youth-oriented team. It appears that his age - 31 in the 1991 season - and the fact that he will now likely be transitioning into an exclusively DH role, would make him a highly unlikely signing.
Recently, St. Paul-born pitcher Jack Morris expressed interest in returning to his home state to play. MacPhail, however, categorically declared that the Twins would not be looking to sign Morris, who as a free agent could command the largest salary in Twins’ history. "While we think the world of Jack and commend him for his many years of great pitching, he’s 35 and has not had a standout season in several years," said MacPhail.
"At this stage the organization has to think a few years down the road."