TwinsCentric: The quiet off-season (so far) by the numbers
- Blog Post by: John Bonnes
- November 26, 2012 - 8:10 PM
Free agent starting pitchers from the TwinsCentric 2013 Offseason Handbook that have signed with a new team.
It’s just Scott Baker so far. That’s it. I count five others that are already off the market, but all of them re-signed with their old team (or had their option picked up and were traded): Jake Peavy, Hideki Kuroda, Hisahi Iwakuma, Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie.
The bad news here is that a lot of those guys are the middle market - a level just below the big names where bargains might have been found. But that might be why they were already targeted and re-signed.
Free agent starting pitchers from the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook that are still available.
That doesn’t mean there are 25 of them that are desirable, just available. But that doesn’t include those that we thought would retire or get minor league deals, and it doesn’t include guys who are available via trade, like several of the Rays or Braves arms.
I can’t emphasize this enough – the free agent market hasn’t really started yet. It likely won’t for a few more weeks. According to ESPN’s free agent tracker, a total of 12 guys have signed major league deals so far. Last year 106 did. Cool it.
Twins minor league signing stories broken by MLB.com’s Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger in the past month. (Roughly)
Is it possible that the greatest culprit for the Twins slow offseason is Bollinger? By continually reporting minor league signings – which were often overlooked in previous years – we are reminded that none of the big moves have been made yet.
The age of Jeff Clement, who the Twins signed to minor league deal yesterday.
If that name sounds familiar, it is because he was a “B” catching prospect who ranked #33/#62/#42 on Baseball America’s top 100 list from 2006 through 2008. He had 20 home run power, hit left-handed and was “good enough” defensively.
Turns out, he wasn’t, or if he was, recurring elbow and knee injuries drove him away from that spot. He’s now a first baseman and designated hitter and hasn’t upped the power (and oddly has struggled against right-handers). That makes a guy a 29-year-old minor leaguer instead of a possible All-Star. There is good news and bad news in this signing for Twins fans, and neither has anything to do with all the studly free agent starting pitchers they didn’t sign:
Good news: the Twins are signing recognizable names with a little upside as minor league free agents. They should. A 60+ win team should mean lots of opportunities for minor league veterans to gain some service time and be in The Show. It should be a team that agents target. But it’s good that the Twins are taking advantage of that status. The Twins picked up a couple of useful players that way last year and will likely need to so again this year.
Bad news: Clement’s status emphasizes, once again, just how big the difference in value is for a guy who can play catcher and a guy who can’t. Think about that the next time someone tries to convince you that the Twins would be better if Joe Mauer would get out from behind the plate.
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