January 14, 2017

Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss

Falvey & Co. made a small but significant move this week when they signed pitcher, Ryan Vogelsong, best known for his years with the San Francisco Giants, to a new contract with the Twins.

Here’s what stood out to me: Vogelsong was signed to a minor league contract, not a multiyear, major league deal.

And that’s an important change for the Twins, who, under the previous Terry Ryan-led administration, were quick, it seemed, to sign past-their-prime free agent pitchers to multiyear contracts for huge-to-outrageous sums of money.

To recap:

-Kevin Correia: Signed as a free agent in 2012, Correia was paid $10 million over two seasons in which he went 14-26 with a 4.49 ERA.

-Mike Pelfrey: Signed as a free agent in 2013, Pelfrey was paid $15 million over three seasons and finished with a record of 11-27 with a 4.94 ERA.

-Ricky Nolasco: Signed as a free agent in 2014 to the largest free agent contract in Twins history: $49 million for four years. In his three seasons with the Twins, Nolasco went 15-22  with a 5.44 ERA. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

All of those deals blew up on the Twins and former GM Ryan, so it was nice to see Falvey & Co. make the right call about Vogelsong and not overplay their hand. Vogelsong’s best years clearly are behind him. He’s 39, he has a career record of 61-75 and he last won in 2011 and 2012. But he’s also spent 12 seasons in the majors, so there’s little downside in signing him to a minor league contract and inviting him to spring training.

If he pitches well during spring training, maybe he makes the team. If not, then he’s available in the minors for a spot start, or to spell someone on the disabled list. Even better: The Twins didn’t back up the truck and pay him a bundle of money.

 

January 7, 2017

While we all wait for Brian Dozier to be traded (or not), a few thoughts about the weather

Well, I knew the offseason would be slow, but this slow? Wow. There’s no mistaking it: Baseball really is a summer sport. I think all of us Twins bloggers are waiting to pounce on the much talked about potential trade that would send second baseman Brian Dozier to some team (possibly the Los Angeles Dodgers)... Continue Reading »

December 22, 2016

Molitor’s staff complete after Twins hire first-base coach and ‘conduit coach’

Twins manager Paul Molitor’s coaching staff is set after the Twins added Jeff Smith and Jeff Pickler on Wednesday. Smith is the team’s new first-base coach, while Pickler, previously with the Los Angeles Dodgers, comes aboard as a coach who “will serve as a conduit between the front office and the coaches to convey analytics... Continue Reading »

December 18, 2016

Rod Carew, who hit .388 for Twins in ’77, has successful heart and kidney surgery

Hall of Famer, Rod Carew, who spent the bulk of his baseball career with the Twins, had successful heart and kidney transplant surgery after suffering a heart attack in September 2015. The 13-hour procedure was completed on Friday at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to MLB.com. The outlook for his recovery is good... Continue Reading »

December 17, 2016

Is Twins’ Dozier to Dodgers a done deal?

It appears Falvey & Co. may be on the verge of making their first big transaction of the off-season, sending Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for highly rated pitching prospect Jose De Leon. There may be more players attached to this potential deal, but it seems to hinge... Continue Reading »

December 5, 2016

So what if the Twins new hitting coach couldn’t hit?

Professional sports are filled with examples of the marginal athlete who later finds his or her true calling by becoming a successful coach. Here’s just one example: Calvin Coolidge Ermer, who played in one major league baseball game, later went on to win more than 1,900 games as a minor league manager. It appears that... Continue Reading »

December 2, 2016

An open letter to Derek Falvey, Twins chief baseball officer

December 1, 2016

There is life after the Twins — just ask Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, who spent 31 years with the Twins, including 19 as the club’s general manager, has found work again after he was fired during the team’s disastrous 2016 season. His new employer is the Philadelphia Phillies, who have hired Ryan as a special assignment scout. The hire is also interesting because Ryan is once... Continue Reading »

November 30, 2016

Back with the band: Hunter, Cuddyer and Hawkins hired as special assistants

Falvey & Co., in their quest and wisdom to remake the Twins, have decided the team could benefit from the tutelage of some former players. The result has been a decision to hire as special assistants Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and longtime relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. That’s according to MLB Trade Rumors, citing a report... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.