December 29, 2008
Twins Notes: Dickey Redux and Other Minor Moves
Dickey explained that the Twins "haven't promised anything" regarding an Opening Day roster spot and realistically he's a long shot to make the team out of spring training, but he was apparently swayed by a phone call from assistant general manager Rob Antony that came just hours after he hit free agency. According to Dickey, the "plan" for him would involve bullpen work and the occasional spot start, which he prefers to simply competing for a rotation spot after having some success as a reliever this season.
They seemed to be the team that had the most interest in me. Not only that, they also seemed to have a real plan for how they want to use me. More than the other teams. I liked the things they were saying to me. In the end, the Twins seemed more interested. They were saying things about the quality of player they look for and how they like to have character guys on their team. It was nice to hear that they thought of me that way.
Dickey is an intriguing player and everyone loves a knuckleballer, but he had a 5.21 ERA and 58-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 112.1 innings with the Mariners this year and the Twins already have a pair of out-of-options long-relief candidates in Boof Bonser and Philip Humber. Barring a trade, the Twins will probably end up sending Dickey to Triple-A near the end of spring training while telling him that he'll be the first pitcher called up for in-season reinforcements.
Henn was once considered a solid starter prospect while coming up through the Yankees' system, but flopped during a few brief stints in New York and recently moved to the bullpen full time following arm problems. Henn has an ugly 7.56 ERA in 66.2 innings in the majors, but as a left-hander with a 3.74 ERA and 137-to-67 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 175.2 innings at Triple-A he could be a decent southpaw specialist out of the bullpen.
Gaetti actually finished this year with the Twins after they acquired him from the A's in mid-August and homered in his first plate appearance at Double-A, but ruptured his Achilles' tendon while rounding the bases and missed the remainder of the season. Gaetti is 27 years old and has yet to get a shot in the majors, but he's hit .284/.366/.511 during six seasons in the minors and could be a decent platoon bat against left-handed pitching. Oh, and he's also Gary Gaetti's son and does a nifty impression of dad.