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TwinsCentric: Five offseason predictions

Posted by: Nick Nelson Updated: October 24, 2012 - 12:34 AM

1) The Twins will be one of the first teams to sign a pitcher, and it will be a relatively big name.

This certainly wouldn't be business as usual, and I don't actually think it'll be Zack Greinke. But the front office has been frank in its dissatisfaction with the current starting pitching situation, and has expressed an urgency to address that unit during the offseason. In his recent interview with John Bonnes for the Offseason Handbook, Terry Ryan hinted that he'd be taking a hard look at some of the better pitchers in free agency, and when John asked whether the plan was to sit back and wait as opposed to aggressively pursuing targets, Ryan responded, "If I do that, we'll probably be holding the bag. You know pitching is going to go off the board."

My guess it that the Twins have a list of high-end to mid-tier free agents that they especially like, and they'll get one of those guys signed pretty quickly, which will set the course for the rest of their offseason.

2) Denard Span will be traded.

And fans, including myself, will probably be disappointed in the return. Span's a very good player that just doesn't seem to be valued as highly around the league as he should be. It's no secret that the Twins have been open to dealing him multiple times in the past and have never gotten an offer that quite enticed them. This winter, they have more motivation to move him than ever before, with Ben Revere's emergence, Chris Parmelee's presence, rising outfield prospects and major pitching needs. Hopefully Span's best year since 2009 will help the Twins get the return they deserve.

3) Payroll will increase.

I'm going out on a limb here to some degree, because most people seem to think the team's spending will sink after another revenue-dropping ugly season. It's hard to blame them. Still, I think Ryan is going to want to do a lot of things this offseason in order to give Ron Gardenhire a fair shot at keeping his job next year, and I think the ownership will give the GM financial flexibility to make a lot of those things happen. It's in everyone's best interest. I'm not saying payroll will rise back to $100 million, as I've suggested it should, but I'd be awfully disappointed to see it drop. Again.

4) Alexi Casilla will be non-tendered.

As a guy who can't hit well enough to start and really only excels at one position defensively, Casilla is the definition of a futility infielder. He's entering his third year of arbitration, which means he'll be due for a raise (albeit slight) on his $1.38 million salary from this past year. There's always been a distinct trace of promise somewhere deep within the athletic Casilla, but he's coming off one of his worst seasons and is now 28. It's time to let go. With cheaper options like Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Florimon available, the Twins are likely to agree.

5) The Twins will draft a Rule 5 player who will stick.

When asked about how he intends to overhaul the pitching staff during the offseason, Ryan always responds by stating that he intends to pursue "all avenues," and he invariably mentions the Rule 5 draft as one of them. He doesn't mention how rarely impact players are acquired there.

Nevertheless, by virtue of another horrible finish the Twins will once again be one of the first teams to pick, and hopefully they've learned a few things from last year's ill-fated Terry Doyle selection. I think they'll grab someone and find room to give him a shot, and I'm not even sure it will be a pitcher. There are other weaknesses on this club.

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Arizona
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Utah 52 3rd Qtr 11:15
Orlando 45
Charlotte 66 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 46
Brooklyn 35 2nd Qtr 8:49
Cleveland 33
Washington 39 2nd Qtr 8:41
Miami 36
Minnesota 39 2nd Qtr 5:29
Boston 41
Toronto 40 2nd Qtr 4:48
Detroit 49
Chicago 11 1st Qtr 5:13
Memphis 10
Portland 11 1st Qtr 5:51
San Antonio 18
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Denver
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd 12:09
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 0 2nd Prd
Ottawa 2
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd
Detroit 1
Boston 0 1st Prd 14:01
Winnipeg 1
Dallas 8:00 PM
Calgary
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 23 2nd Half 18:07
Alabama 34
Case Western Reserve 52 2nd Half 11:20
Bucknell 66
Niagara 28 2nd Half 17:23
Buffalo 43
SD Christian 40 2nd Half 6:23
UC Santa Barbara 57
Concordia (MI) 45 2nd Half 13:45
Central Mich 60
Northern Ill 29 2nd Half 12:40
Dartmouth 40
North Florida 47 2nd Half 14:13
Florida A&M 35
Hiwassee 47 2nd Half 11:43
Gardner-Webb 67
Tennessee St 30 2nd Half 15:44
Hampton 40
NC A&T 30 2nd Half 15:20
Kent State 42
Central Penn College 46 2nd Half 12:37
Liberty 59
Eastern Ky 35 2nd Half 15:59
Miami-Florida 27
Northern Ky 55 2nd Half 13:46
Morehead State 42
Northern Ariz 32 2nd Half 10:34
Norfolk State 52
MD-Eastern Shore 29 2nd Half 12:04
Old Dominion 40
St Marys-CA 33 2nd Half 17:59
St Johns 22
Clemson 35 2nd Half 14:46
South Carolina 39
Tenn Tech 45 2nd Half 10:25
Tennessee 39
Washington-MD 29 2nd Half 9:48
William & Mary 65
Bethune-Cookman 18 1st Half 2:51
Mercer 30
Furman 26 1st Half 3:30
Fla Gulf Coast 31
South Dakota St 28 2nd Half
CS-Bakersfield 24
Milligan 3 1st Half 14:48
Lamar 15
LSU-Alexandria 14 1st Half 11:50
ULM 10
Southern Utah 2 1st Half 14:53
Loyola-Chicago 12
Chattanooga 2 1st Half 15:50
Middle Tennessee 6
Seattle 5 1st Half 15:44
Minnesota 12
Lipscomb 12 1st Half 12:11
Princeton 13
Winthrop 8 1st Half 15:09
SE Louisiana 10
Dickinson State 7 1st Half 12:45
North Dakota 6
New Orleans 6 1st Half 15:49
Southern Ill 4
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Creighton
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Denver
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Marquette
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
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Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
Nicholls 47 2nd Half 1:22
Texas Tech 73
St Marys-CA 28 2nd Half 12:23
Virginia 39
McNeese State 26 2nd Half 17:03
Rice 24
McMurry 32 2nd Half 10:31
Houston Baptist 48
NJIT 41 2nd Half 12:23
Seton Hall 55
(6) North Carolina 29 2nd Half 15:43
Maine 22
Lafayette 44 2nd Half 12:00
Stony Brook 46
Siena 40 2nd Half 11:17
Binghamton 31
Longwood 33 2nd Half 16:00
Clemson 38
Savannah State 31 2nd Half 15:22
Florida State 57
(19) Syracuse 45 2nd Half 11:55
(9) Baylor 52
Buffalo 31 2nd Half 15:57
Manhattan 23
Canisius 24 2nd Half 14:39
Michigan 52
Davidson 42 2nd Half 13:58
NC State 56
Northern Ky 43 2nd Half 16:03
Delaware 30
Saint Louis 30 1st Half 2:04
Austin Peay 35
(25) DePaul 33 2nd Half
(2) Connecticut 53
Ohio U 32 2nd Half
La Salle 40
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Tulane
Florida Atlantic 10 1st Half 11:52
Long Beach St 16
Miss Valley St 12 1st Half 10:30
Memphis 12
Ark-Pine Bluff 3 1st Half 12:30
UAB 11
Bowling Green 5 1st Half 15:57
Illinois State 1
Arkansas State 11 1st Half 14:10
Missouri State 10
ULM 2 1st Half 14:57
Wichita State 9
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
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