The Twins have been busy bringing back former players to the organization over the past year or so, and today they announced another one: Jim Kaat. The former pitcher is set to join the team as a Special Assistant, and will attend TwinsFest this weekend at Target Field.
Though Kaat was a pretty dang accomplished pitcher — boasting a 3.45 career ERA over 4530.1 innings, not to mention 2461 strike outs, SIXTEEN Gold Glove awards, and many other accolades — his new role is not expected to include coaching or scouting. In other words, it’s not like the positions Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins, Michael Cuddyer, and the very-recently hired Justin Morneau have. Those guys are all Special Assistants to Baseball Operations.
Instead, Kaat is just a Special Assistant in the team’s administrative branch, joining the likes of Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Kent Hrbek, Tom Kelly, Jack Morris, and Tony Oliva. Those guys perform various miscellaneous functions, such as calling Twins Hall of Fame inductees (Carew), acting as MC for various pre-game ceremonies (Blyleven), traveling around on the Twins Caravan (Morris), Hispanic outreach (Oliva), sitting around in the bar named after yourself during baseball games and drinking beer while being civil to fans (Hrbek), etc.
Kaat will reportedly be helping “community and business initiatives in Minnesota and Southwest Florida,” which I think technically could include all of the things I listed in the previous paragraph. So, really, Kaat could be doing anything.
In any case, I approve of bringing back yet another great Twin into the organization. Kaat pitched thirteen seasons in a Twins uniform, from the time the team moved to Minnesota in 1961 until he was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox in 1973. Kaat’s 190 wins with the organization rank second, trailing only Walter Johnson who had, uh, 417 wins.
Congrats, Kitty Kaat!