December 11, 2008

Day 4 at the Winter Meetings

UPDATE #1: Just got back from the Rule 5 draft, where the Twins had a chance to take Eduardo Morlan back from the Rays ... and passed. Instead, they took Jason Jones, a 25-year-old right-hander from the Yankees who went 13-8 with a 3.26 ERA and 102-to-50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 160 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Jones has solid ERAs, but doesn't miss bats, induce tons of ground balls, or have pinpoint control. He may stick as a long reliever if Philip Humber or Boof Bonser get dealt.

UPDATE #2: While passing on Morlan to take Jones strikes me as a mistake, the good news is that the Twins avoided losing anyone of significance in the Rule 5 draft. Jose Lugo was taken from them by the Royals, but he's a 24-year-old reliever who's yet to advance past high Single-A and wouldn't have come close to cracking my upcoming Top 40 Twins Prospects list.

UPDATE #3: According to the press release in front of me, the Twins have re-signed Nick Punto for $8 million over two years, with a $5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2011. Ron Gardenhire made it very clear during his press conference Tuesday that Punto would be the starting shortstop if he returns, so the Twins will presumably now turn their attention (and remaining payroll space) to third base and the bullpen. Punto from 2006 or 2008 is worth $4 million, but the 2005 and 2007 versions were awful.

UPDATE #4: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times passes along that Adrian Beltre has recently added the Twins to his no-trade clause. However, that may not mean Beltre is against coming to Minnesota, but rather realizes that the Twins are interested in him and knows that he may be compensated for waiving the veto rights. Baker also speculated about a deal built around Beltre for Delmon Young.

More later, but in the meantime please check out my winter meetings blogging over at Rotoworld:

Rotoworld Hot Stove Blog - Live From the Winter Meetings

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