Falvey & Co.* made their first significant personnel moves of the offseason after they sent two players to the minors, including longtime third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
So I got fired today! 😎
I plan on writing a huge thank you to everyone, but tonight's not the night. I love you MN! I'll miss you all!
— Trevor Plouffe (@TPlouffe24) November 19, 2016
The other player was backup catcher Juan Centeno. But because Plouffe has already logged more than five years in the majors — and all of it, by the way, was with the Twins — Plouffe becomes a free agent. He’s bound to land a job elsewhere. In his seven seasons with the Twins, he hit 247/.308/.420 with 96 homers, 148 doubles and 357 RBIs in 723 games, according to MLB.com.
The move makes sense for a couple of reasons: Miguel Sano is the future at that position and Plouffe has shown signs of being prone to injury. He played in only 84 games this past season.
At the beginning of the 2016 season, I, like a lot of people, thought that the only place for Sano after waching him play in the outfield and infield was to be the team’s designated hitter. But DH was crowded, so in order to get Sano’s bat into the lineup, they tried him in right field (which didn’t go well) and at third (which wasn’t much better).
But I will say this: The more time he got at third base, the better he seemed to become. Now, all bets are off if an infield fly comes his way. Still, late in the season, Sano began to flash the glove at third, while his arm strength has never been questioned.
-In addition to the Plouffe and Centeno moves, prospect Adam Walker was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers. Walker displayed some power with the bat, but he also struck out a lot, according to MLB.com.
Walker, meanwhile, hit .243/.305/.479 with 27 homers, 22 doubles and 75 RBIs in 132 games at Triple-A Rochester. The 25-year-old struck out 202 times in 531 plate appearances, and has had trouble defensively, especially with his throwing.
*Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine.