As the White Sox continue to make a play for 2015, the Twins have relatively few options for making themselves better in the short term. Colby Rasmus is the best center fielder still available in free agency who can also contribute with his bat, but he has yet to be connected to Minnesota. The hot stove has been on a simmer this weekend for the Twins, so here are just a couple of notes to go over since Friday.
Twins designate Chris Parmelee for assignment
When the Twins signed Torii Hunter, I listed Parmelee as one of eight players who could end up losing their job as a result. Parmelee was going to be a fringe player heading into spring training anyway, requiring an injury or two to have a potential spot on the 25-man roster. Considering that he was out of options, not to mention the .249/.317/.392 triple slash in 901 plate appearances, Parmelee's status as a roster casualty is nothing other than expected.
The 2006 draft featured four very good players taken in the first 11 picks: Evan Longoria (3rd), Clayton Kershaw (7th), Lim Lincecum (10th), and Max Scherzer (11th). But other than that the first round was very hit and miss, and Parmelee's 0.5 rWAR places him firmly in the middle of career value from first and supplemental first round selections. (For reference, FanGraphs has his career value at 0.3 fWAR.)
Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about Parmelee is that he personifies Minnesota's many failed drafts throughout the 2000s. Those draft results are one of the primary reasons for the current state of the organization. Minnesota's draft class of 2006 is led by a player who didn't sign, because he chose to go to college rather than sign out of high school: J.D. Martinez. Excluding Chase Anderson, Andy Oliver, and Martinez, who all didn't sign and were re-drafted out of college), the Twins have seen seven players graduate to the Majors from the '06 class. They've combined for -1.1 rWAR.
Twins interested in Jack Hannahan
Hannahan will be in his age-35 season in 2015, having appeared in just 26 games for the Reds in 2014. At his best, he was a good defender with good strike zone judgement, but that didn't help him make contact or hit for power. He's logged more than 3,700 Major League innings at third base, which is where I imagine he'd play for Rochester until Miguel Sano passes through...if Sano doesn't just jump from Double-A to the Majors.
He did have interest in coming to play for the Twins two years ago, but the interest wasn't mutual at the time and, knowing how things have turned out, that's fine. But considering where Hannahan now is in his career, the best he could hope for is a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Santana has always been a guy who is easy to cheer for. When a guy has personality and clearly loves the game as much as Santana does, how can you not be a fan? Mike Berardino's article from yesterday has a number of great quotes.
Twins owner Jim Pohlad sounds like the guy who has a man-crush on the cool kid at school because the cool kid just invited him to his birthday party.
"He's a really cool guy," Twins CEO Jim Pohlad said after Saturday morning's rollout at Target Field. "He's got a great smile. That's important. You have to be able to connect with fans. Not just standing on the mound, but we want players to connect with fans in other ways, too, because they're cool guys."
My favorite quotes, though, were from Santana's wife, Amy.
Asked to explain the origin of "Smell Baseball" to the uninitiated, Amy Santana smiled.
"It was him. It's what he loves. He loves baseball," Amy Santana said. "Anytime you go anywhere, certain smells remind you of something. For him it's the smell of a dirty baseball, rubbing it in his hands."
Ervin Santana has been known to hold the baseball to his nose, even while on the mound.He does this as a reminder of what's important in his professional life.
"Some people go to the field, and it's popcorn, the smell of the hot dogs and the beer," Amy Santana said. "It's significant for everybody now. But for him, it's actually showing up and playing. For him, a baseball with a little bit of dirt on it smells good. That's what he means."
I'm a fan. Welcome to Twins Territory, Ervin Santana & family.
That's it for tonight, folks. We'll see you in the morning.