Sunday was day one of SB Nation's mock winter meetings. It's more of an off-season simulation considering it encompasses all aspects of getting a team ready for the following season, but call it what you like: it's fun. As I mentioned in the introduction to this exercise, we make decisions on options and non-tenders, we submit offers for free agents to an independent arbiter who negotiates on behalf of the free agent with all interested parties before making a decision, and we contact other site managers for trade talks.
Here is where the shadow Twins sit after two days (or most of two days). Most of these udpates will be written, for the purposes of a bit of fun, in the form of an update as you'd read from the media reporting on the event. The exception here is the flopped trade for Jon Jay - it's easier to just tell you what happened.
- Non-tendered Anthony Swarzak, making him a free agent
- Declined 2015 option on Jared Burton, making him a free agent
Failed trade for Jon Jay
On Sunday evening, I thought I had completed a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals that would have brought Jon Jay to Minnesota. Trade talks were very active over the weekend, and I've had discussions on a number of outfielders and pitchers with other teams, but the swap for Jay was the first to reach completion.
Or so I thought. Unfortunately, the Cardinals had more than one person calling the shots and, due to a mix up, the other party had dealt Jay minutes before our agreement. I lost out there, at least momentarily, and was back to square one.
Twins sign Kris Medlen
The Twins made their first off-season move of the winter on Monday morning, signing the recently non-tendered Kris Medlen to a two-year, $12 million dollar contract (with a third-year option for $8 million). General Manager Jesse Lund knew he had to find more pitching if his team was going to get better in the short term.
"Kris had Tommy John back in March, so he could be a little rusty once he's ready this year, but that's why we went multiple years. We know that Medlen has the potential to be a solid mid-rotation starter, a good number three with some upside. Luckily, I've hired an all-new medical staff that I can trust, and after their evaluations I'm confident that we've made a good signing here."
The addition of Medlen means the Twins have a plethora of arms with starting potential. Lund didn't give any ground when questioned how he'd deal with the abundance of rotation options, but it's possible the Twins could use one or two of these pitchers out of the bullpen if necessary.
Twins trade Michael Cederoth to Cardinals for Randal Grichuk
Rumors have continued to swirl that Minnesota is looking to add not just one, but two outfielders to their Major League roster. They may have made some progress on that front with this afternoon's trade of Michael Cederoth for Randal Grichuk.
Cederoth, 21, was a third-round pick in the 2014 draft. In most circumstances, rules would dictate that this would be a Grichuk for PTBNL situation, but luckily the new baseball commissioner is happy to circumvent that silly rule. Ranked as the organization's #20 prospect coming out of 2014, John Sickels sees Cederoth as a C+ player. Scouts believe he will end up in the bullpen, although he started ten games for the Elizabethton Twins this year.
Grichuk, meanwhile, is a 23-year old outfielder with experience at all three positions. He made his Major League debut this season, hitting .245/.278/.400 in 47 games for St. Louis. He had his first taste of Triple-A in 2014, his age-22 season, and hit .259/.311/.493 with 23 doubles and 25 home runs in 472 plate appearances. He spent most of his time in Triple-A playing left and center fields.
"I expect Grichuk to compete for a starting job in the outfield in spring training," Lund said. "He's always been young for his league so we want to bring him along at a pace that's good for him, but he's talented enough where he could hold down an outfield job for the Twins for a number of years."
Rumors and whispers
- Jon Heyman reported that the Twins were talking to the Red Sox about a Joe Mauer trade, but Mauer was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause.
- Ken Rosenthal said the Twins were one of the teams interested in Evan Gattis before he was traded in a package deal to Cleveland - if that's true, what does it say about Josmil Pinto?
- Four or five teams have called about the availability of Tommy Milone, according to a source close to the team.