Soundtrack: Monoroom, Memory Inc. Part II (Original Remix)
At Twinkie Town, we get a lot of our notes from the hard-working local beat writers, particularly Mike Berardino and Darren Wolfson. It's difficult to find two better or harder working guys covering the Twins, so I wholeheartedly endorse reading their work and, if you're into that kind of thing, following them on Twitter. Good guys, good info, and engaging...what's not to like?
There's a lot to cover in this edition of notes, so let's get to it.
- The Twins have claimed Brooks Raley off of waivers from the Chicago Cubs, and have added him to the 40-man roster. The 40-man is now full, once again, but judging from his performance - a tendency to nibble at the Major League level, leading to poor peripherals in spite of decent command in the minors - it doesn't feel like he's a guarantee to keep that spot. As a left-handed pitcher who may be better suited for a relief role it might be worth stashing him if the organization thinks they can harness his talents, but you can say that about every youngish, fringey player.
- While the agents for Nelson Cruz and Stephen Drew have been checking in with Minnesota, the Twins don't have much interest. It makes sense, considering factors such as age, draft pick compensation, and salary expectations. If either guy considers easing up on those salary demands, in dollars or in years or in both, they'd have a much better chance of coming to Target Field. Even then, the front office may not think they fit due to the blueprint for their long-term plans.
- Just imagine for a moment, though, that Cruz agreed to a one-year deal and Drew agreed to a two-year deal with the Twins. The lineup this year could look like this: Presley (CF), Drew (SS), Mauer (1B), Willingham (DH), Arcia (LF), Cruz (RF), Plouffe (3B), Dozier (2B), Pinto/Suzuki (C). On paper it doesn't look too bad. In a video game reality it might actually work.
- Emilio Bonifacio is on the market after becoming a free agent yesterday. It doesn't sound like the Twins have interest, although they could be looking for a utility upgrade over Eduardo Escobar. He hit .285 with a .352 on-base percentage down the stretch for the Royals, but historically isn't a reliable offensive presence with a career OPS+ of 79. His best season came with Miami in 2011, when he hit .296/.360/.393. Too bad he can't hit like that all the time.
- Vernon Wells and his nasty contract have been shipped around over the last couple of years, but as his handlers looked for a new home over the winter it doesn't sound like Minnesota was ever interested in his services.
- The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena on a contract in the neighborhood of $25 million. All scouts love his glove but reports on his offense are mixed, at best. It's hard to blame the Twins for not getting into a bidding war here.
- Infielder Aledmys Diaz and right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Desbaigne, both from Cuba, will be performing for teams in a showcase today. Both players look likely to sign quickly. We heard recently that the Twins hadn't called on DIaz this season, but Minnesota will definitely be attending the workout today.
- Carl Pavano is coming along in his rehab, and will begin throwing off of a mound next week with the goal of eventually holding a showcase of his own. The chances of the Twins being interested are next to zero at this point, but good luck to Pavstache as he looks to take one last crack at Major League Baseball.
- Rich Harden, who the Twins had hanging around last spring, is still rehabbing and looking to continue pitching. He's still not healthy enough for a workout and isn't looking to hang on anywhere until he's ready. While I'm sure the Twins won't rule anything out, I'm sure neither party has the other near the top of their respective wish lists.
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