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Scenes From An Offseason: Volume 10

The Twins are venturing into a new frontier: Signing big moderate free agents.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

SCENE: Terry Ryan's office at Target Field. He is sitting behind a large mahogany desk, tightly gripping a baseball in his left hand, blankly staring at the wall. Across from him is assistant GM Rob Antony, who is leaning back in a leather chair with arms crossed, waiting. Ryan makes a deep sigh, opens his mouth as if to speak, but then slowly closes it. Antony rolls his eyes and leans forward.

ANTONY: Well if you won't say it, I will. We need pitching.

RYAN: We have pitching.

ANTONY: You call what we have pitching? We have pitching like the Houston Astros have a major league team. We don't have pitching, what we had last year was De Vries, Walters, Worley, Hendriks, Hernandez... We had garbage last year.

RYAN: You're right, we need fresh blood. I'll go call Sean O'Sullivan.

Ryan reaches for the phone, but it is quickly slapped out of his hand by Antony.

ANTONY: Sean O'Sullivan isn't going to help us! We need someone bigger! Er, you probably can't get much bigger than Ol' Sully... We need someone better!

RYAN: Well, god dammit Rob, who do you want me to call? We've only got a couple million to spend this year!

ANTONY: A couple million? Terry! Listen to yourself! Jim (Pohlad) told us we can throw around $20 million this offseason! I know exactly who we can get to anchor this pitching staff for next year: Bronson Arroyo.

RYAN: Arroyo, hmm... What do our scouts say about him?

ANTONY: He gets after it, changes speeds, multiple arm angles, throws soft, has thrown 200 innings for virtually a decade straight, he's perfect for us.

RYAN: This sounds like Livan Hernandez again. I loved Livan, he was great at eating innings.

ANTONY: Exactly, and Arroyo can do the same!

Ryan gets a distant look in his eyes as he thinks. After a few seconds, he gives a subtle shoulder shrug.

RYAN: Alright, I'll call him.

Ryan picks up his phone receiver from the floor and starts going through his contact list. When he finds "Arroyo," his finger rests on the button. He pauses and makes eye contact with Antony, who merely gives a single nod, leading Ryan to press the dial and speakerphone buttons. The dial tone rings three times before it is abruptly interrupted with the sound of a man's voice.

ARROYO: ¿Hola?

ANTONY (mutters): He is a bit of an oddball, though...

RYAN (clears throat): Yes, Bronson?

ARROYO: Bronson?

RYAN: Yes, Arroyo. I'm looking for him.

ARROYO: Ah, 'is 'ere.

RYAN: Excellent, look Arroyo. This is Terry Ryan of the Minnesota Twins, and I think you'd be a great fit for us. I'm here to offer you a contract, and I won't take no for an answer. I'm willing to give you 2 and 20, and that is my final offer.


RYAN: Great, it's settle -

ARROYO: No, no, no! You is mistaken, 'is not -

RYAN: Arroyo, you are a great pitcher. We understand that you're getting up there in age, but we can't think of anyone else that would be a better mentor for Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May. If 20 isn't enough, well then, what about 2 and 21? That is my final offer.

ARROYO: Señor Ryan, 'is not playing -

RYAN: Dammit Arroyo, I said I'm not taking no for an answer! I'm giving you 2 and 22, and that is my final offer!

ARROYO: Pero.... (sighs) Bien.

RYAN: Excellent, or as you would say, bueno. It will be nice having a guy that can speak Spanish on the team. I look forward to having you on the Twins this season.

Ryan's face remains stoic as he replaces the receiver. He reaches across his desk to shake Antony's hand over a job well done.


Meanwhile, about 2,000 miles away, we enter a small home in Cuba. A man sits with his back towards us, shoulders hunched. He appears to be in shock as he stares at the cell phone in his hand. A few seconds pass before he sets it face down on the table in front of him. We hear a woman's voice calling from another room, speaking in Spanish.

WOMAN: Rolando, ¿qué pasa?

ROLANDO ARROJO: Uh, no sé... Creo que mi retiro ha terminado.