December 5, 2011

Winter Meetings: Day 1

This weekend was devoid of Twins news, but with the annual winter meetings starting today in Dallas and every general manager in the same hotel it should be a very busy week across MLB. I'll be posting any interesting Twins-related speculation here throughout the day, with full write-ups of any deals they make, but if you want non-stop coverage of rumors, trades, and signings check out Hardball Talk for my analysis and Craig Calcaterra reporting from Dallas.

Hardball Talk on NBCSports.com

And of course you can follow me on Twitter for notes, snark, and links all day. It should be fun.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

9:45 AM: Phil Mackey of 1500-ESPN says the Twins continue to focus on re-signing Michael Cuddyer and Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV reports that they haven't even set up a face-to-face meeting with outfield alternative Josh Willingham.

10:15 AM: LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune adds in that "agents now are speculating that Cuddyer will end up back with the Twins" and it may only require a two-year contract because the market for him has been less than expected.

11:00 AM: On the other hand, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Twins are among nine teams to "have called on" Willingham.

12:45 PM: Twins farm director Jim Rantz told Mel Antonen of USA Today that Chris Parmelee "still needs a year at Triple-A" despite his impressive September showing in Minnesota.

1:10 PM: Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the Twins have asked the Rangers about David Murphy, presumably as a left-handed-hitting replacement for Jason Kubel.

1:30 PM: Not exactly a big move, but the Twins claimed 24-year-old shortstop Pedro Florimon off waivers from the Orioles. He hit .267/.344/.396 with eight homers and a 114/51 K/BB ratio in 133 games at Double-A in what was the best year of his career. He's a utility man at best.

2:35 PM: According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com the Twins are "tentatively scheduled" to meet with Willingham's agent Thursday "if the club doesn't reach a deal with Cuddyer" first.

3:20 PM: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes has the Twins among five teams interested in free agent Carlos Guillen.

3:45 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Twins joined the Marlins, Rangers, and Nationals in making an offer to Mark Buehrle, but adds that their offer is "not as strong."

5:50 PM: No word yet on the money, but Matt Capps re-signed with the Twins for a one-year deal with an option for 2013.

8:15 PM: Capps gets $4.5 million for 2012 and $6 million or a $250,000 buyout for 2013. Much more later, but for now: Yuck.

  • Jeff

    The Cuddyer thing seems inconsistent with the supposed $100M payroll. However much the Twins and fans may like him, he is clearly not the best value. Either they’re truly pinched and this is a terrible decision, or there’s more than $100M in play.

  • http://jszym2write@yahoo.com jfs

    Until the Twins show that they can consistently draft well, maybe signing Cuddyer and losing the 2 draft picks is the better route to go. Thoughts?

  • hansob

    came away from the Dec 1st season ticket holder conference call with Terry Ryan pretty convinced that Capps would be back. Sounds like that’s coming to fruition.

  • Uncle J

    Matt Capps is trending on Twitter. That is all.

  • ewen21

    This Cuddyer thing has become a problem now. They really have dragged their feet long enough. No one knows what’s on the table now, but one can surmise that it’s better than the original 2 years/ 16 million they floated a couple of months ago. Cuddyer and his agent are milking it for all they can and it’s become annoying. WHat the Twins should have done was give Cuddyer a deadline so they can operate during the winter meetings. They should have said: “Michael, we want you to stay but this is our final offer and you have until Friday, December 2nd to decide. Take until then to consider the offer. You understand this team has a lot of needs to address right now and we need closure on this. IF you do not get back to us by the 2nd the offer is off the table and we have to move on to other options. We hope you understand the importance of getting this done in a timely manner”

    Instead of that they are getting too sentimental. I can’t understand why they haven’t gone after Willingham to be perfectly honest. He is exactly the same age and is a much better offensive player. They can probably get him for less and it would be good to get some new blood in here. I’m tired of reading Cuddyer’s quotes and I am tired of him being overrated for his ‘intangibles’. If he’s so great how come no one has swept him up yet? The truth is, he aint gonna do any better than that offer the Twins gave him–unless of course the Twins sign him!

  • spoofbonser

    If its between Willingham and Cuddyer, in my opinion, it’s a wash….. leaning in Cuddyers favor for being a lifer (which has some value regardless of the many good points suggesting otherwise)

    ………until you add in the two draft picks.

    Logic would dictate that its Cuddyer’s time to spread his wings and get paid…..by someone else. rather than spending money on a corner outfielder and a proven closer, its time to go young on those two positions and grab some depth in the field. I think they have enough talent to get things done, but slumps and errors are going to kill the Twins.

    Capps is a risk, but a very low one.

  • Paul

    Saw on Hardball Talk that Giants are in running for Jimmy Rollins.

    What does it mean for Twins? An opportunity to pursue the next Nick Punto on the correct side of the career curve. Brandon Crawford would be a huge defensive upgrade over anyone they can play at SS. Can they get him in a Kevin Slowey package? This is all contingent on the Giants signing Rollins.

  • ML

    Does whether or not you dislike or hate the Capps signing depend on how many save opportunities you think the Twins will have in 2012?

    (Yes, dislike or hate, because there is no liking this move.)

  • Greg

    $4.5 mil for the ’10 version of Capps isn’t awful. Not great but not the worst signing in MLB history. The reason I use the ’10 version is unlike certain catchers on the team, Capps played thru pain and ailments that weren’t there the previous season and the club is betting that’s the reason for the dip in production. Don’t look at the $6 mil 2nd year. That’s a small buyout.

  • http://jszym2write@yahoo.com jfs

    I like Capps. However, the Twins overpaid for him, yet again. $4.75 guaranteed. They allowed Crain to leave a year ago for a lower annual average. Go figure.

  • http://fieldoftwins.blogspot.com/ Shane

    I am not sure that people are aware of how completely idiotic signing Matt Capps is here. They would have received a 60-65ish pick for letting him sign elsewhere, and they could have signed BETTER pitchers for LESS money (Dotel, Hawkins, Coffey).

  • http://jszym2write@yahoo.com jfs

    The Florimon and Capps signings bring the roster to 40. Who’s leaving soon?

  • Bert Lancaster

    Shane, believe me, people are most definitely aware. Capps is awful.

  • stymietime

    How is that a “bad” signing? At worst he’s an ok setup guy, and at best he’s an ok closer. $4.5M sounds about right to me. If Matt Guerrier can get $4M a year, I don’t see how this can get a “yuck” response.

  • http://fieldoftwins.blogspot.com/ Shane

    Bert, see many of these posts!

  • Zack

    Greg, you laud Capps for paying through pain, but he played horribly through that pain. Cuddyer was lauded for playing through pain after his wrist got messed up. He was terrible after that. Don’t understand why we should be happy players are playing through pain if they’re doing so terribly.

  • Greg

    Zack – Because the options other than Capps last year weren’t any better.