To all of you who are in code red mode over the Twins offseason (JACK) chill the F out. No they have not gone out an gotten an impact player or try to get a front line starter, but has their team really suffered that much of a regression? NO! Look at the projected lineup compared to last season opening day group.
No real reason to freak out over this. When you have a guy who hit .311 last year hitting 8th for you I think that is a reason to just say hey its going to be ok. And you O YEAH you have 2 MVPs hitting 3-4 for you. Relax.
As for pitching I have to admit, I was looking for the Twins to make an offer to go get Zack Grienke, but the Royals stayed true to their word and that they did not want to send their Cy Young winner to a division opponent. And that is understandable. Did the Royals get a good return? I am not sure. Did the Twins have a collection of guys to match that offer (yes but it would have crippled what is already a suspect system). Matching up the players Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Orodozzi, and Jeremey Jeffress, Seth Stohs said that a similar offer would have been Ben Revere(athletic toolsy outfielder), Nishioka(because the Twins have 0 infield prospects worth mentioning), Kyle Gibson(Orodozi was ranked 1st in Brewers system and is younger and has higher ceiling then Gibson) and Carlos Gutierrez(big bullpen arm but not as good as Jeffress). Looking at this, Bill Smith and many Twins fans are very high on these 4 guys. Are they worth trading? Maybe, but it would have taken a 5th player (beacuse of being in AL Central) or possibly Miguel Sano to make a 4 player deal happen. That is not worth it? Hell no.
With the bullpen seeming to be in shambles, all I have to say is it is still early. First thing is first. In no planet, galaxy, or parallel universe would I give Matt Gurrier, or Jesse Crain 5 million dollars per year and that is what they pretty much got. Guerrier is a guy that literally is a the definition of playing with a rabbits foot in his back pocket. How did that guy ever pitch so many inning without guys starting to rake on him is amazing to me. We saw at the end at the middle of last season. Bill Smith made a great point, that they basically found Matt off the side of the road and he pitched his way into being a late inning guy. It is very possible that someone like Jeff Manship (little bit better stuff) could fit right into a Matt Gurrier mold but in a different role. Moving on the Crain, we have seen him at his best and we have seen him at his worst. Might I just say the bad outweighs the good with him. When he is bad you are amazed that he even has a professional career or as Jack would say (pump my gas you bum). The White Sox are asking this guy to close which is comical to me. This is going to end very badly for Chicago and Crain. He will not be that 5 million dollar back end closer. He is blow a lot of saves and frustrate a lot of fans, and Ozzie, Hawk and Ken Williams will want to cut him outright after the first few horrific blown save.
I know I am rambling. Almost done. If there is a guy that Minensota should considering bringing back its Brian Fuentes. He is the perfect fit for Minnesota. He would like to close but he is probably not going to get the opportunity. Minnesota should be able to get him back at 2 years 12 or 13 million. Its a lot but its not out of the question for him to get some save chances with Matt Capps and Joe Nathan not being guarantees shut down guys for their own reasons.
Filling in the rest of the bullpen I am completely ok with going in house. There is a lot of talent almost major league ready. And no I am not talking about Anthony Slama. I have come to the conclusion he sucks and gets by with tricky junk and not good stuff. Guys to look out for in 2011.
Carlos Gutierrez, AAA, 24, 2008 first rounder has a heavy 95 MPH sinker and a decent enough slider to keep hitters honest. Needs to work on control but he is someone who walks people because his fastball has so much movement.
Billy Bullock AA, 23 2009 second rounder also has a huge fastball, slider combo that helped him rack up 105K in 74 innings. That is just nasty.
Alex Burnett AAA, 23, showed a lot of promise in his stint with Twins but seemed to get a little over whelmed. I still like his stuff, he has 4 good pitches and is not afraid to go right after hitters.
Jim Hoey AAA 27, main part of the JJ Hardy deal is in line to make his return to the majors. He has a good fastball and also racks up big K numbers (70 in 52 innings)
Dakota Watts AA, 23, Baseball America rated that Watts has the best fastball in the system. Sits in upper 90s. He will return to AA but has a ton of upside.
Ok so you see what I am talking about. I just named 5 guys who all have a chance to make huge additions to the Twins bullpen. And they are not the lame strike throwing weineies. They go after you with power stuff and say here is my fastball, its 95MPH if you have the testicular fortitude to hit it then fucking try.
Bill Smith is doing what I expected him to do. Harness the storm that is the Joe Mauer contract and arbitration increases. It will somewhat hinder what the Twins can do, but I still do not doubt Smith or Ron Garndehire's ability to get the best out of guys who would be bums for other teams. 2011 AL Central crown still has to run through Minnesota beacuse history says so.
I have decided to hold of on a ramble about Carl Pavano because I want to wait and see where he winds up before I draw conclusions. If he goes to a team where Twins get 2 picks then it will be Christmas part 2.