Twins Insider: Trades aside, offseason work is far from done

Even after trading Denard Span and Ben Revere, General Manager Terry Ryan vows to "field a competitive team next season."

hide

Terry Ryan

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

So far this offseason, the Twins have failed to close the gap with division champion Detroit -- unless you're talking about the 2015 gap.

The Twins have traded not one but two starting center fielders -- Denard Span and Ben Revere, who played mostly right field last year -- leaving two gaping holes in the outfield. Meanwhile, the additions of righthanders Alex Meyer and Trevor May in the past couple of weeks have fans feeling good about the future, if not the present.

But General Manager Terry Ryan will look you in the eye and say, "We are going to field a competitive team next season." Other Twins officials say the same.

We're in the heart of the offseason, with plenty of time for Ryan to back up his claim.

It was pointed out to me Friday that if the Twins were ready to punt on 2013 and build for two years down the road, they would actively pursue deals for players such as Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau and even Glen Perkins. But they are not.

They traded Denard Span for Meyer and Ben Revere for May and righthander Vance Worley because they couldn't pass up the opportunity to add pitching to an organization desperately in need of a few good arms.

In fact, a report out of Philadelphia on Friday had the Phillies asking for Willingham as well as Revere. I was told that the Twins weren't ready to seriously talk about Willingham because it would signal an intention to give up on 2013, and they aren't ready to take that step.

The Twins will continue to work the free-agent market for more starting pitching, although the pool of available pitchers was reduced by one on Friday when Brandon McCarthy agreed to sign with Arizona.

The Twins are not in the running for top free-agent pitchers Zack Greinke, Annibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson. But they have expressed interest in lefthanders Joe Saunders and John Lannan and righthanders Brett Myers and Kevin Correia. They have made several contract offers and are waiting to hear back from agents.

They have spoken with the agents for former Twin Francisco Liriano, but those talks reportedly have hit a snag. The Twins would like to sign two starting pitchers, but it has to be for what they consider a reasonable price. With Worley in the fold, lefthander Scott Diamond a rotation lock and righthander Kyle Gibson ready to contribute, two more pitchers sounds like a good plan. Nick Blackburn, Cole De Vries, Samuel Deduno and others can force their way into the rotation with a big spring training, or provide depth.

Chris Parmelee is penciled in as the starter in right field, but there are no experienced every-day center fielders on the roster.

On Wednesday night, some folks around the lobby at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel began to whisper about a Revere trade to the Phillies. I was skeptical, because the Twins didn't have anyone ready to step in for Revere. But several people in the organization believe former first-round draft pick Aaron Hicks is almost ready to play in the majors.

Hicks batted .286 at Class AA New Britain last season with 21 doubles, 11 triples, 13 home runs and 32 stolen bases. He has a powerful arm and excellent range in center field, leaving the Twins to worry only about whether he can hold his own at the plate. Darin Mastroianni and Joe Benson will get shots in center, and the Twins might bring in another veteran for competition, but the club appears ready to hand center field over to one of its top prospects.

Again, we're talking about young, unproven talent.

If the Twins are serious about competing in 2013, they need to have a strong second half of the offseason. A couple of credible starting pitchers could go a long way toward that. If not, then we will start looking ahead to the MGM boys -- Meyer, Gibson and May -- in 2015.

If anything, recent events have ignited plenty of chatter among Twins fans. That's a good thing, as we pull out our shovels and gas up the snowblowers this weekend.

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 102 2nd OT 5:00
San Antonio 102
Milwaukee 41 3rd Qtr
Portland 43
Houston 26 2nd Qtr 11:37
Denver 29
Indiana 35 2nd Qtr 8:14
LA Clippers 36
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 1 2nd Prd 17:01
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 57 1st OT
Cincinnati 57
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 40 2nd Half 10:17
Cal Poly 36
Central Arkansas 34 2nd Half 17:10
New Mexico 41
Howard 27 2nd Half 15:30
Pepperdine 34
Portland 29 1st Half 3:18
UNLV 26
CS-Northridge 5 1st Half 16:08
Oregon 4
Grambling St 3 1st Half 15:19
Washington 7
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
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
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 22 2nd Half 15:58
San Francisco 36
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close