While we all wait to see if Pavstache and Drew Butera re-enact that awful Kay Jewelers commercial ("I'm right here...and I always will be."--CUT TO SCENE OF CELEBRATORY GARAGE FIRES BEING SET ALL OVER SCOTT COUNTY), there has been a bounty of Twins news over the last 48 hours.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka: SIGNED QUESTION MARK. Jon Heyman says it's a done deal. LaVelle says it's very close. Kelly Thesier quotes Bill Smith as saying negotiations are not complete. Candy says I've come to hate my body. Regardless: the consensus seems to be three years, $10 million.
Jose Morales: TRADED. To the Rockies for single-A lefty reliever Paul Bargas. Two things to take from this: Butera is firmly ensconsed as the Twins back-up catcher, and the Twins are loading up on bullpen arms. Talker: who is the Twins third catcher? (This is where your Toby Gardenhire joke goes.)
Jesse Crain: HE GONE. To the White Sox, three years, $13 million. He told Paul Allen on KFAN yesterday that he will have the opportunity to close games along with Chris Sale. A whole new city will now get to learn the majesty and wonder of the term "Crainwreck."
Twins Bullpen: WHAT NOW? We're all acutely aware of the flaws of Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier. I think I speak for the majority of the Twinkie Town editorial staff that nobody wanted to give either one that many years or that much money to stay. HOWEVER: Crain was the best power arm in the bullpen, and he could be dominant for months at a time; Guerrier was just a flat-out horse. Replacing Crain's potential to miss bats and Guerrier's innings is going to be difficult at best, especially when the in-house options the Twins are allegedly trusting in have their own flaws. Either way, it will be very weird not having those guys on the mound in the 7th inning next season. Please enjoy this Bat Girl blast from the past in remembrance.
Scott Ullger & Steve Liddle: TRADING PLACES. Per Sid & LaVelle, Ullger moves to the bench, while Liddle inherits Ullger's middle name of "F---ing" when Jason Kubel gets thrown out by 25 feet.
Nick Punto: LINGERING. In the same blog post, LaVelle notes that LNP may still end up on the Twins in 2011 if they can get him for "pennies on the dollar," or GET LESS MONEY, GET LESS PAID, if you'd rather.
Joe Mauer: RECUPERATING. Both local papers report that the Baby Jesus had his surgically-repaired left knee scoped last week. Bill Smith calls it "minor." Let this ruin your holiday season as you see fit.