Jake Odorizzi was first, followed by Anibal Sanchez. Erick Aybar was next. Then Logan Morrison.
In a span of nine days, the Twins have added four experienced major leaguers to camp, a run rarely seen in these parts. Sanchez and Aybar are not on the 40-man roster and have to win roster spots, so their potential impact is pending. But Odorizzi and Morrison are solid upgrades to the 25-man roster.
We're not used to seeing a spree like this from the Twins.
But I'm hearing this could be it for the Twins in terms of moves. The deep numbers on Lance Lynn aren't good. A scout told me last night that Alex Cobb's changeup hasn't been the same since his injury. And there's still not much interest in Jake Arrieta. That could change if Arrieta decide to sign for one year and re-enter the market next offseason.
The Morrison signing was the most eye-opening of the group. The Twins were interested in adding a bat off the bench. They spoke with Mike Napoli and Matt Holiday. But the free agent market has been slow-played this offseason, leading to some prices dropping. And Morrison fell into the Twins' laps.
Morrison is expected to be in the clubhouse on Tuesday.
Signing Morrison to a $5.5 million contract is a no-brainer. He hit 38 home runs a year ago, becoming more selective at the plate and embracing launch angle principles. Now his pop is in the middle of a what should be an entertaining Twins lineup.
The Twins wanted to keep the DH spot available for Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano and Robbie Grossman (a few times) to use during the season. They now will take a different approach, provided that Morrison picks up from where he left off last season. When you have a chance to add a potent bat like Morrison's you make adjustments.
Paul Molitor officially has a headache on his hands, for he has to figure out a lineup that, most games, will be loaded with lefties. Stacking a couple lefties is unavoidable.
Here's one lineup I'm toying with:
Meh, I don't like it.
Wonder how Molitor is going to craft his lineup.
There are winners and losers as part of the fallout from the Morrison deal. Here are three of the bigger losers:
3. Robbie Grossman. One thing Grossman can do is get on base. He's not a great defensive player, but he helped the lineup at the DH spot by drawing walks or figuring out other ways to get on base. That position is not available to him now, as he's forced into more of a true bench role.
2. The Royals/Tigers/White Sox. If any of these teams had any thoughts of surprising in the AL Central, the addition of Morrison further establishes the Twins the only team capable of making things interesting for the Indians.
1. Kennys Vargas. Vargas lost a few pounds during the offseason, lowering his fat percentage. He also was fitted with a contact lens in his left eye. The out-of-options Vargas came to camp looking to earn the DH job. Now that has been taken away from him. Now you have to wonder if he survives the 40-man roster once camp ends.
Brian Dozier, Phil Hughes and Erick Aybar make their spring debuts today, Anibal Sanchez will do so on Tuesday, then Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano on Wednesday. Things are starting to pick up at Hammond Stadium.
Harrison Bader, CF
Greg Garcia, 2B
Paul DeJong, SS
Jose Martinez, 1B
Tyler O'Neill, LF
Carson Kelly, C
Patrick Wisdom, 3B
Rangel Ravelo, DH
Adolis Garcia, RF
Michael Wacha, RHP
Brian Dozier, 2B
Erick Aybar, 3B
Robbie Grossman, RF
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Kennys Vargas, 1B
Brock Stassi, DH
Chris Heisey, LF
Mitch Garver, C
Zack Granite, CF
Phil Hughes, RHP