Be sure to check out what Bryz had to say last night, as well as what I posted this morning. Here's just a little bit more before we move onto other topics.
Winter meetings are fluid. Very, very possible #MNTwins have heard back on other front, and sole focus is now Ervin. Told no deal yet.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) December 11, 2014
Heard there probably won't be Twins news tonight. But they are cranking on something— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) December 11, 2014
Those sentiments follow others from national writers who seem to be steering the narrative in a direction that puts Santana and the Twins on a collision course. I maintain that Santana would make the Twins better, and that I'd love to see him in a Twins uniform, and that losing the second round draft pick for him doesn't bother me, BUT:
- I'd like to see the contract be for three years with an option instead of four guaranteed. (This seems highly unlikely and we should consider it a massive win if this is the case.)
- Santana's acquisition would all but necessitate the Twins trading at least one of their starting pitchers, and moving one or two others to the bullpen. As it stands the rotation has too many candidates. At least Santana would be a solid one who would definitively make Minnesota's rotation better.
We'll see how this plays out today. Chris Cotillo recently noted that the Yankees are now in the mix.
Sources: #Yankees kicking the tires on Ervin Santana. Sides have had some dialogue.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 11, 2014
The Marlins are closing in on signing an unnamed pitcher, but it isn't Masterson - who is also close to signing with an unspecified entity.
Justin Masterson is getting close on a deal with unspecified team, said a source at winter meetings.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 11, 2014
I think it would be fun if it were actually the Twins. Just to muddy the rotation's waters even further. But could Masterson be the pitcher that the front office was "waiting on," per Wolfson's tweet? It wouldn't surprise me if he turned the Twins down, and they then shifted with a hard focus on Santana. But that's all conjecture.
Eduardo Escobar, Brian Dozier
been a lot of interest in twins middle infielders dozier and escobar due to their depth. minn very reluctant to move— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2014
I can't blame the Twins for not wanting to move either player. Dozier has turned into a team leader and fan favorite, and if the organization really does want to build some goodwill with the fan base they'd be doing the opposite by trading one of their favorite players. Suffice it to say that if any team wants Dozier, they'd have to pay through the nose to get him.
Escobar, meanwhile, is a luxury for the Twins as a super-utility player who is capable of playing a very good shortstop. Other teams likely see him as a defensive-oriented backup, and they're not wrong, but for the Twins he's a starting shortstop who just happens to not be starting - and they'd probably want to be compensated appropriately.
Dodgers DFA Lavarnway.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) December 11, 2014
Lavarnway is a 27-year old catcher who can't keep a home. He was with the Dodgers for just a week after being claimed off waivers from the Red Sox. His Major League line is wholly uninspiring .201/.249/.315 in 301 career plate appearances), but he was a Top 100 prospect heading into 2012 and has a minor league triple slash of .283/.375/.479. If the Twins are considering trading Josmil Pinto, as has been casually suggested, Lavarnway wouldn't be a bad choice as a backup catcher.
Rule 5 Draft
With the Diamondbacks now with space on their 40-man roster, the Twins are slated to pick fifth in today's draft. Graham, a fourth-round pick for the Braves in 2011, is a right-hander who will be 25 in January. Even with a rough 2014 thanks to injury, he's still only allowed 293 hits in 312.2 minor league innings while inducing plenty of ground balls. Otherwise his numbers look fairly pedestrian, but for a Rule 5 pick the Twins could do worse.
We'll have a Rule 5 recap for you later this afternoon. You can read our Rule 5 previews here.