Coming on the heels of re-signing pitcher Michael Pineda and back-up catcher Alex Avile, the Twins have shocked baseball by agreeing to terms with former Chicago Cubs phenom Henry Rowengartner. The fireballer debuted back in 1993, and hasn’t pitched since, but the Twins believe they have found the next market inefficiency.
Rowengartner will be pitching in his age-39 season, and hasn’t been on a big league mound since suffering a catastrophic arm injury at the end of the 1993 season. Prior to his injury, he was lighting up radar guns with 100 mph plus fastballs.
One anonymous Twins official gave us some insight into the signing: “Wheeler, Hamels, those other guys, they got too expensive, so we had to think outside the box a little bit. Wes (Johnson) is an expert on biomechanics and that stuff, so we think he can unlock Rowengartner’s potential again.” When asked if Rowengartner’s age was a concern, the official told us “We saw Nelson Cruz have great success at 39, so why shouldn’t we believe that this will work out?”
As for Rownegartner, he was working as an accountant in Arlington Heights, IL, a suburb of Chicago. He claimed to be “absolutely shocked” when the Twins approached him about reviving his MLB career, but quickly agreed to a deal to revive his childhood dream. Reportedly, the deal is for 1 year, and 7.5 million dollars. As Rowengartner only has one year of MLB service time, he will be eligible for arbitration after this season.
Looking at the Twitter-sphere, people seem to be very confused by what the Twins are doing this with this move. For just a few million more, and a couple more years, the Twins could have matched Texas’ deal, and locked down a proven commodity in Kyle Gibson. Instead, they took a chance on a guy who hasn’t pitched in 26 seasons.