What a week to be a Minnesota Twins fan.
After it appeared the Twins might be on the verge of retaining Carlos Correa and adding San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon, Correa exited stage left for a ridiculous amount of money to play for those Giants, while Rodon was snapped up by the team that always beats the Twins — a team that needs no mention from me.
Instead, the Twins went out and signed pitcher Jose De Leon (to a minor league deal?), catcher Christian Vazquez and slugger (?) Joey Gallo, which really put Twins Territory in a fine mood.
Like I said, it was quite the week to be a Twins fan.
If the name De Leon rings a bell it’s because he was once considered a trade target when the Twins were trying to move slugging second baseman Brian Dozier. A Dodgers prospect at the time, the Los Angeles club wanted more than just Dozier and the Twins wanted more than just De Leon, so the two teams never struck a deal. Why target De Leon? Well, he put up some impressive numbers in the minor leagues, compiling a 28-18 record with a 3.42 ERA and 607 strikeouts in 452 innings pitched.
Interestingly, De Leon announced on Twitter that he had joined the Twins. The announcement was picked up by MLB Trade Rumors, but I haven’t seen any other reporting about his arrival.
— Jose De León (@JDL_87) December 13, 2022
More widely reported was the news about former Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, who joins the Twins on a three-year, $30 million agreement. He will share time behind the plate with the Twins’ Ryan Jeffers, and although Jeffers is likely viewed as the starting catcher on the team, Vazquez could easily fill that role. For his career, Vazquez has slashed .261/.310/.386.
And then there’s Gallo, the former Yankee outfielder who was essentially booed out of the Bronx for his free-swinging ways. Frankly, there’s not much to like here. Yes, he has some power and he can field his position and he earns his share of walks, but he also strikes out a lot. In fact, he has about the same number of career strikeouts as Miguel Sano, who the Twins took a pass on by not picking up his contract option. Gallo, who has a career .199 batting average, agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal.
The Gallo announcement, plus the other free agents the Twins missed out on, appeared to push Twins Territory over the edge. A sampling:
No Rodon. No Correa. No Swanson.#MNTwins with few places left to pivot. No FA truly going to push the payroll either.
— Ted (@tlschwerz) December 17, 2022
So the #MNTwins are rolling with Kyle Farmer at SS then? lol ok
— J. L. (@orionsbelt53) December 17, 2022
— Brian Halverson (@BrianHalverson) December 17, 2022
Falvey and lavine need to be fired before they do any more damage to this organization #MnTwins
— Zach (@zach_attack1991) December 16, 2022
Hate it, hate it, hate it. #MNTwins
— Mike Myers-Schleif (@MJMS7777) December 16, 2022
Are the Twins even trying??????? Joey bleeping Gallo???? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? #MNTwins
— El Natrone 🇺🇸 (@NathanSchultz79) December 16, 2022
And then there was this…
Twins legends: Bob Allison & Harmon Killebrew pic.twitter.com/gCOrIfBKF2
— Jeff (@MNTwinsZealot) December 9, 2022