Squeezed out of rotation, Diamond put on waivers

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 27, 2014 - 12:17 AM

He’s the victim of a spending spree, although the Twins still rank near the bottom in payroll.

hide

Scott Diamond must be exposed to every other major league team on waivers before the Twins can send him to the minor leagues.

Photo: File by Steven Senne • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– The Twins might be forced to cut ties Thursday with one of the better bargains they have uncovered lately. Maybe that’s symbolic — because the Twins believe that money isn’t their biggest problem anymore.

Scott Diamond, a Rule 5 draft pickup who unexpectedly won 12 games in 2012, was placed on waivers, a major league source said Wednesday, a step that will either free the Twins to send the lefthander to Class AAA Rochester or find Diamond a new organization. Any of the other 29 teams can claim Diamond, the runner-up in a spring-long battle for the final spot in the Twins rotation.

That job instead will go to 2009 first-round draft pick Kyle Gibson, who outpitched Diamond this spring. But really, the 27-year-old Canadian’s roster spot was a victim of the Twins’ free-agent spending spree last winter, when Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey signed long-term contracts worth a total of $84 million.

By coincidence, $84 million is also just about the Twins’ Opening Day payroll, with the final roster to be set over the next few days. According to the Associated Press, that’s the seventh-lowest payroll among the 30 major league teams, and barely a third of the Dodgers’ projected $235 million in salaries.

And while the Twins are unlikely to climb into baseball’s top 10 big spenders anytime soon, they went into the offseason planning to spend more than they are, according to Rob Antony.

“If we had been able to get a few other players we tried to get, it would have been higher,” the assistant general manager said Wednesday of the Twins’ 2014 payroll. “We were trying to give money away.”

The Twins “spent a lot of time” trying to persuade other free agents, not just pitchers, to come to Minnesota, Antony said, “but we didn’t have nearly as much luck with position players. … They went elsewhere. We tried to address and improve our offense, but it didn’t work.”

Antony did not reveal who the Twins pursued, but emphasized that their failure to sign free-agent hitters beyond Jason Kubel, Jason Bartlett and Kurt Suzuki — a trio acquired for a total of $5.75 million — leaves the team with plenty of “flexibility” in case an opportunity comes up. Payroll won’t be a consideration for the right player, he said.

The $84 million total is only about $2 million more than they spent last season, but it’s nearly $30 million less than Twins players earned in 2011, coming off an American League Central Division title the year before. While the payroll has declined, revenues have increased; new national television contracts with ESPN, Fox and Turner, worth $12.4 billion over the next eight years, kick in this year. The Twins’ annual share has roughly doubled to more than $50 million, instead of the $25 million they received in 2013.

It should be clear Thursday whether Diamond will be paid by the Twins this year, or by someone else. The lefthander went 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA for the Twins in 2012, after he was selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Atlanta Braves organization in December 2010. Acquiring Diamond cost the Twins only $50,000, and he earned just over the minimum salary during his two seasons in Minnesota. But he stumbled to a 6-13 season with a 5.43 ERA last year, and was inconsistent this spring, posting a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings.

With Diamond out of options, the Twins must either keep him in the majors or expose him to waivers as they reduce their roster to the 25-man maximum by Sunday. The Twins also must cut three position players by then, and decisions on players such as Bartlett, Chris Parmelee, Chris Colabello and Dan Rohlfing could come Thursday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 2:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Washington
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Memphis 6:30 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Carolina 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Nashville
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Arizona
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 11:00 AM
Georgetown
Maine 11:00 AM
Seton Hall
UNC-Wilmington 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Georgia State 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville St 1:00 PM
Jacksonville
Kentucky 1:00 PM
Louisville
Northern Ky 2:00 PM
Northwestern
UAB 3:00 PM
North Carolina
IUPUI 3:00 PM
Pepperdine
Santa Clara 3:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Oakland 4:00 PM
Maryland
Gonzaga 5:00 PM
BYU
Mercer 5:00 PM
Georgia
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Pacific
Wright State 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Tennessee
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 1:10 PM
Duke
Miami-Florida 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
SMU 12:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
UCF 2:00 PM
Houston
BYU 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 4:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
San Diego 7:00 PM
Portland

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close