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Minnesota Twins Off-Season Review 2010

After an up-and-down 2009 season which included an AL Central Title and a farewell to the Metrodome, the Twins and their fans are anticipated a successful 2010 campaign.

Just as soon as last year's season ended with a three-game sweet at the hands of the New York Yankees in the ALDS, the new season is quickly approaching. With pitchers and catchers, including AL MVP Joe Mauer, set to start camp in Fort Meyers, FL next week, many faces and personalities have left the Twins.

But every player who leaves must be replaced by a new one. Here is a recap of the moves the Twins have made this offseason.

Twins deal Boof Bonser to Boston

After missing the entire 2009 season due to labrum and rotator cuff surgery,
Boof was designated for assignment on December 8th, and was traded to the Boston Red Sox on December 10th for a player to be named later.

The Sox sent 24-year old right hander Chris Province to complete the trade.
Province spent last season at AA-Portland, where he want 2-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 43 relif appearances.

Bonser, who was acquired by the Twins in 2003, went 18-25 with 5.12 ERA during his three seasons in Minnesota.

Carlos Gomez Traded...

Carlos Gomez was the headline player in the Johan Santana trade in 2008. Gomez's raw-talent wasn't able to be harnessed in Minnesota, and he was dealt after only two seasons.

Gomez went from batting leadoff to batting ninth to coming in the late innings as a defensive replacement. Gomez hit .248 with 214 strikouts, and will be remembered in Minnesota for his free-swinging style, speed in the outfield, and being attacked by a revolving door at the Metrodome.

...For JJ Hardy

The Twins traded Carlos Gomez to the Brewers during the New York Yankees championship parade, wasting no time to revamping their teams for the upcoming season.

Minnesota, who already had a crowded outfield with Gomez, Denard Span, Delmon Young, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel, traded for shortstop JJ Hardy to fill an open spot in their infield.

Hardy, an All-Star in 2007, hit .280 with 51 home runs from 2007-08. He struggled, however, in 2009 and was sent to the minors.

Hardy finished 2009 hitting .229 with 11 home runs in 115 games.

He is slated as the starting shortstop for the Twins, who hope he can regain his for of two seasons ago.

Carl Pavano Returns

Carl Pavano came to the Twins in August 2009 through a trade with the Cleveland Indians for a player-to-be-named. (Yohan Pino)

When the Twins acquired Pavano, he was 9-8 with a 5.37 ERA and were six games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, and were in third place overall.

The Twins would rally behind their much-needed veteran pitcher, winning the AL Cental in a tie-breaking game with the Detroit Tigers.

Pavano was 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 starts for the Twins.

Pavano was a free agent following the 2009 season, and accepted arbitration from the Twins and, baring injury, should get a place in the 2010 starting rotation

P Mike Maroth Receives Spring Training Intive

This one suprised me.

The Twins have sent P Mike Maroth an invitation for Spring Training to try and make their squad.

Maroth is infamously known for losing 21 games for the 2003 Detroit Tigers.

Maroth, who last pitched at the major league level in 2007, was 0-5 with a 10.10 ERA with the St. Louis Cardinals after being traded from Detroit during the 2007 season.

The Twins have also invited righthanders Anthony Slama, the Twins 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and Kyle Waldrop, the Twins third pick in the first round (25th overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, outfielders Ben Revere, the Twins 2008 and 2009 Minor League Player of the Year, and Rene Tosoni, who was the Most Valuable Player in the 2009 Futures Game, and infielder Chris Parmelee, who was the Twins first round pick (20th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft,

Twins sign RP Clay Condery

Clay Condery won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, and helped them win the NL Pennant in 2009.

Condery was 6-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 45 relief apperances for the Phillies in 2009.

Condrey comes in to help the Twins' pitching staff, who's 4.50 ERA was 24th in the majors leagues.

Mike Redmond heads to Cleveland

Mike Redmond joined the Twins in 2005, having spent 1998-2004 with the Florida Marlins.

Redmond will be remembered by Twins fans for having coined the term "Smell Those RBIs", Whenever a Twins player is credited with an RBI, the player gives a tap on the nose and a look to the dugout.

He will also be remembered for beinga very durable catcher.

During the second game of a doubleheader on July 6, 2007, Redmond was hit in the head by the bat of Jim Thome who accidentally let go of his bat after his swing. Redmond received seven stitches, and was catching the next day.

Redmond's .996 fielding percentage is highers among active catchers who have caught at least 600 games.

During Red's five seasons in Minnesota, he would bat .297 and would record 256 hits in 257 games played.

Jason Pridie Claimed by New York Mets

Jason Pridie was acquired by the Twins, along with Delmon Young and Brendan Harris, for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.

Pridie was in position to be the fifth outfielder and a defensive replacement fot the Twins. But, after the Twins signed Orlando Cabrera, they needed to make room for him on the 40-man roster and placed Pridie on waivers.

Pridie was almost immediately claimed by the New York Mets.

Pridie appeared in 11 games for the Twins from 2008-09, but failed to record a hit in his six plate apperances.

Jacque Jones comes home

After Pridie was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets, the Twins was in need of an extra outfielder.

Jacque Jones, who played for the Twins from 1999-2005, was waiting for the call.

Jones, who turns 35 in April, hasn't played at the major league level since 2007, when he hit a combined .147 (17/134) for the Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins.

Jones signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds in 2009, but was cut after he failed to make the team.

Jones, who hit .279 with 132 home runs and 476 RBI during his first stint as a Twin, helped the Twins win back-to-back-to-back AL Central titles from 2002-2004, before leaving for the Chicago Cubs via free agency in 2005.

Jones isn't expected to make the team out of spring training, but said he is willing to play for AAA-Rochester until his services are needed.

Twins sign DH Jim Thome

The ultimate Twin killer has been converted.

Jim Thome, who has a record 58 home runs against the Minnesota Twins, signed a one year contract to play in Minnesota in January.

Thome has done a lot of damage against the Twins, whether it be with the Cleveland Indians (1991-2002) or the Chicago White Sox (2006-2009). One painful Jim Thome moment Twins fans should remember: During the 2008 AL Central tie-breaker, Jim Thome his a solo homerun, leading the White Sox to a 1-0 victory and the 2008 AL Central crown.

Thome, whose 564 career home runs rank him 12th all-time, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers by the Chicago White Sox midway through last season.

Thome hit 23 home runs and 74 RBI for the ChiSox as the regular DH, but wasn't used much in LA. He had only four hits in his 17 at-bats for the non-DH using NL Club.

Thome, who was anxious to get back to the AL, will be used as a primary DH and an emergency first baseman this season.

Thome has 2313 career strikeouts, and needs 285 to pass Reggie Jackson for the all-time lead.

Thome also needs only 10 home runs to pass Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for 10th all-time.

Ten years ago, Killebrew was fifth on the all-time list.

Twins sign Orlando Hudson

Last season, with the exception on Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Orlando Cabrera, the Minnesota Twins infield batted .233.

One of the major needs to address was the need for an productive infield. With Orlando Cabrera leaving the Twins via free agency, the Twins filled the shortstop hole with JJ Hardy.

Then they signed Orlando Hudson play second base.

Hudson, a 2009 Gold Glove winner, hit .283 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, and will likely bat second in the lineup for the Twins.

Bobby Keppel and Justin Huber head to Japan

The Twins released P Bobby Keppel and 1B Justin Huber in order for them to play pro baseball in Japan.

Keppel now plays for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and Huber plays for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Brian Buscher heads to Cleveland

3B Brian Buscher left the Twins via free agency and signed with the Cleveland Indians.

Buscher played sparingly for the Twins in 2009, playing in only 61 games and recording only 134 at-bats. He his .233.

Buscher failed to make the 2009 postseason roster.

On December 2nd, Buscher signed a minor league deal with Cleveland with an invitation to Spring Training

So Long, Orlando Cabrera

Perhaps one of the biggest turn-arounds for the Twins was the acquisition of Orlando Cabrera from the Oakland Athletics.

Cabrera, 35, was criticized for his decreasing range and arm strength. However, he helped get it done for the Twins, batting .289 in 49 games for the Twins and taking a leadership role in the clubhouse.

Fans wanted Twins management to bring back Cabrera, but after the trade for JJ Hardy, it seemed very unlikely.

Cabrera signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Arbitration Station

The Twins had eignt players eligible for arbitration: right-handed pitchers Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Pat Neshek and Carl Pavano, left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano, infielder J.J. Hardy and outfielder Delmon Young all agreed to one-year contracts.

In addition, the Twins also agreed to terms on a two-year contract with infielder Brendan Harris.

Delmon Young loses 30 lbs

Delmon Young weighed almost 240 pounds when the Twins lost Game 3 to the Yankees in the ALDS.

He showed up to TwinsFest a lean 210.

Young, who hasn't shown the same potential he showed in Tampa Bay, is basically playing to stay with the Twins.

His recomitment is a step in the right direction.

No Mauer deal...yet...

Contrary to reports by WCCO-TV's Mark Rosen, a deal is still not done between the Twins and AL MVP Joe Mauer.

Rosen originally reported that the two sides had agreed, in principal, to a ten-year contract. Both parties have denied the claim.

Mauer is entering the final year of his contract. The Twins (and fans) are desperate to sign the three-time batting champion to an extention before he hits the open market in the winter of 2011.

1 comment:

  1. It should be noted that Pridie was claimed off waivers, when the Twins signed Orlando Hudson, not Cabrera.

    I would also like to point out that Mike Redmond's fielding percentage with the Twins was 1.000, while with the Twins. No errors. Amazing stat, especially for a back-up catcher of his age. I'll miss him tremendously.

    It has also been established by Gardy himself, that Kubel will be the primary DH, as he was last season. Thome will get some starts at DH, but will mainly come off the bench to play. Wether or not this holds up for the duration of the season remains to be seen.

    Many fans seems to dislike Delmon Young, despite hitting .287 in his 2 seasons with the Twins. I'm unsure as to wether it's due to what the organization gave up to acquire him (Bartlett and Garza), his defensive skills compared to our other outfielders in those 2 years, or his power potential that hasn't come around fully. You seem to suggest that his potential has regressed, "Young, who hasn't shown the same potential he showed in Tampa Bay." I would propose he has shown potential that is consistent with his performance in Tampa, having 1.31 hit and walks per games played in 07(TB), and then 1.33 in 08(MN) and 1.15 in 09.

    Granted Young's 09 numbers were probably down due to having over 200 less plate appearances than the previous 2 years with the overcrowded outfield. But he also dropped lower in the batting order as a result of Michael Cuddyer's re-emergence, therefore giving him less protection as a hitter. He also had 12 home runs last year despite his reduction in plate appearances, while having only 10 in 2008 and 13 in 2007. I like that you brought up his weight loss, and feel that 30 lbs. is a good indication to the type season he, the Twins, and myself expect him to have. Good luck Delmon!