Here's what's happening around the Twins as of this morning.
It appears that after being outrighted, Shane Robinson elected free agency - as did Eric Fryer and Aaron Thompson. Yet the Twins remain interested, and could bring back Robinson on a number of contract options if there is mutual interest. He could return as the club's fourth outfielder, although this seems like it would be a late-season maneuver. Sugar Shane could also be brought back on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training; it's a fair offer, but no doubt he'd want to look for a job with a more certain future.
Jonathan Lucroy on the trade block
As mentioned last month, MIL has the likes of Jonathan Lucroy and Francisco Rodriguez available for trade talks, as they look to get younger— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 4, 2015
We knew that the Brewers have wanted to get better for the future, and that means some of their better trade chips could be targeted by the Twins. Both Lucroy and Rodriguez would fit needs for Minnesota, who have a stated need for help at catcher and in the bullpen. Lucroy is of most interest to me here, although Rodriguez is a good relief option. Will Smith is also highly coveted, by basically everyone.
Twins scouting internationally
#MNTwins have scouted right-handed slugger Byung-ho Park a lot. One official: "Good run producer." Worth monitoring w/ bids due Friday.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) November 4, 2015
Park has been a monster hitter for the Nexen Heroes, swatting 53 and 52 home runs over the last two years (and 173 over his last four). In the last three years he's posted an OPS no lower than 1.039. As a first baseman it's difficult to determine where Park might fit with the Twins over the next few years, which makes Minnesota's interest noteworthy. He has a penchant for taking walks but he also strikes out quite a bit, which makes you wonder how effective he could be in Major League Baseball.
Park was posted on Monday. You can read more about him here.
Courtesy of ESPN, the Minnesota Twins come in 14th. It's not awful, but it's not as good as you might have expected, either. The Cubs, in first place, scored a ranking of 90.9. Each team has two notes - one from Jim Bowden called The Overview and one from Keith Law called Impact Prospect. Don't put too much into Bowden's words, but Law talks about Max Kepler. Going forward I personally believe the Twins are better than two or three teams ranked higher, but I'm obviously biased.
This isn't Twins related, but that doesn't matter. If you haven't read anything heart-warming this week, and considering the state of your friends' Facebook feeds I can scarcely blame you, definitely have a look at this. These are the kinds of things I like to read on the Internet that aren't Twins-related.
- Players of note who have declined their 2016 option or have had them declined in recent days: Nori Aoki, Andrew Bailey, Marlon Byrd, Alex Gordon, Zack Greinke, Casey Janssen, Cliff Lee, Cory Luebke, Joe Nathan, Chad Qualls, and Alexei Ramirez.
- Players like Lind and Benoit have had their 2016 options picked up, but that doesn't look like it makes them likely options to return to their teams.
- Players available in trade talks, other than Milwaukee's Lucroy and Rodriguez, appear to be Joaquin Benoit of San Diego and Adam Lind of Milwaukee. Because if you're good and play for the Brewers, you're probably on the trade block.
- Ron Gardenhire has been offered the Padres' bench coach position, after finishing as a runner-up to the manager's job.
- Billy Beane can't see the A's trading Sonny Gray. I'd believe him, but it's Billy Beane. Still, considering how well his club does on the regular it's hard to judge him too harshly.
- Ian Kennedy, Matt Wieters are expected to receive a qualifying offer.
- Oh the Nationals hired Dusty Baker because a one-year contract didn't jive with Bud Black. And really, who can blame him? Washington doesn't have the best idea of what a good manager looks like at this point.