La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Winter meetings wrap-up: The Twins actually made a trade

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 6, 2012 - 11:29 PM

First of all, the Opryland Hotel is far from affordable family fun. I hit a breakfast buffet on Monday, and found out it was $21.00. Lunch on Tuesday consisted of two sushi rolls, miso soup and iced tea. That was $40.00 (and they weren't exotic rolls). I spent the rest of the meetings buying sandwiches at coffee shops. Geez...

And the complex is just enormous. Too many places for teams to hide. Too spread out. Instead of saying 'hello' as we crossed paths with other scribes during the week, we would say. 'I hate this hotel,' for a greeting.

Still, it's a baseball convention. There are still debates that go on into the early morning at the bars. The wild rumors still spread around the lobby, and it gets you looking forward to spring training. I love this stuff.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of Twins team will report to Fort Myers, Fla. in February. GM Terry Ryan stunned me and made a trade today - the first time he's swung a deal during the winter meetings in my 15 years on the beat. All you folks who predicted the Twins would do nothing were wrong - for the first time, ha!

I'm totally behind the concept of adding the pitchers the Twins have added. They traded Ben Revere, who has speed and a good glove but doesn't have power or a strong arm, and turned him into two pitchers. One, Vance Worley, was described by a scout as a, 'Twins type pitcher.' He doesn't miss bats and needs good control to win. He's young and he said he has his cut fastball back that he didn't have last season because of bone chips in his elbow.
 
The other pitcher, Trevor May, has upside. He could turn out to be a No. 2 starter because he hits 94 and has good secondary pitches. His control needs to improve, but coming to the Twins and Rick Anderson could be just what he needs.

So YOU MAKE THAT TRADE. You get two starters - one for now, one for two years down the road - for a speedy contact hitter.

It's time to re-do my top ten prospects rankings, again. May doesn't have Alex Myers' upside but he could land anywhere from 4-6 in the rankings. A potential rotation of Meyer, Gibson and May - the MGM boys - looks promising.

I expect Terry Ryan to sign at least one more starting pitcher this offseason, so the 2013 can resemble more of a makeover. If they re-sign Francisco Liriano, I hope there's a second signing. They still have several offers out there, waiting for the pitching market to loosen up.

I'm going to miss Revere, one of the most positive people in that clubhouse. I'm going to miss Denard, one of high-quality guys I've met during my career. But the Twins have to address this starting pitching problem, and had to make these deals.

Not sure who will start in center. At 1 a.m. this morning, when I was chasing down the Revere rumor, one official said he heard that the Twins are ready to give Hicks a chance to start in center. Wow. We'll see if they stick to that.

All I know is this: If the season started today, Joe Mauer might have to be the leadoff hitter.

It was a productive week for the Twins. In addition to Worley and May, the Twins picked up righthander Ryan Pressly and third baseman Mark Sobolewski in the Rule 5 draft and signed reliever Jared Burton to a two-year contract, plus an option.

They have two spots open on their 40-man roster, by the way.

Watch the Strib this weekend for more coverage of the remodeling of the Twins' rotation. An online chat has been scheduled for Monday, too. And I'll join KFAN's Paul Allen on Friday (actually about 12 hours from now) at Buffalo Wild Wings in Coon Rapids to talk Twins and argue about the Bears-Vikings game this weekend.

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W:A.Miller(5-5) L:J.Burton(2-3) S:Z.Britton (30)
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)

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Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
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Cleveland 3 FINAL
Kansas City 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
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Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 9th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Top 8th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Top 8th Inning
LA Angels 2
Washington 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Seattle 0
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 4th Qtr 1:55
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 3rd Qtr 7:41
(13) LSU 10
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 3 2nd Qtr 11:33
(3) Oregon 21
(25) Washington 14 2nd Qtr 11:19
Hawaii 10
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 2nd Half
San Jose 1
Portland 0 2nd Half
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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