Rand: Are these former Twins worth revisiting for Ryan?

  • Updated: November 18, 2013 - 1:39 AM

Former Twins pitcher Johan Santana

Photo: Julio Cortez, Associated Press file

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Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about then-Timberwolves boss David Kahn, who appeared to be assembling a roster that was attempting to rectify previous organizational blunders.

– when they instead chose Ndudi Ebi.

The revisionist history didn’t work out so well. Roy and Howard played a combined 16 games before missing the rest because of injuries. Kirilenko had a solid year but left for Brooklyn in the offseason. The Wolves won 31 games, and Kahn lost his job.

We bring all this up because there could be another local GM making similar moves this year, traveling back in time to undo wrongs much like Scott Bakula on the old TV show “Quantum Leap.”

We’re talking here about Terry Ryan of the Twins. Consider these four players, all of whom have either been directly linked to the Twins or who at least would make sense as potential free agents:

Jason Bartlett

He was part of the 2007 offseason trade with Matt Garza that brought Delmon Young and Brendan Harris to the Twins. This was the first offseason under the helm of Bill Smith, who took over for Ryan (who of course resumed control from Smith four years later). Last week, the Twins signed Bartlett to a minor league contract. He didn’t play in 2013 and was limited in 2012, but still: he’s back.

Matt Garza

The Twins need pitching, Garza is a free agent who would be a big splash move if the Twins could reel him in. He’s a strikeout pitcher — exactly the kind of power arm Minnesota needs.

Johan Santana

This was the other Smith trade in 2007, and of course it did not work out well for the Twins. Santana, though, is done with his six-year contract with the Mets and is interested in signing with the Twins, our own La Velle E. Neal reports, as he tries to come back from major shoulder problems.

A.J. Pierzynski

Again, our guy La Velle reports that the Twins definitely are interested in bringing back Pierzynski for a short-term deal. He was traded away in 2003, a move that netted the Twins the grand haul of Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser. With Joe Mauer moving to first base, the grit and production of Pierzynski would be a welcome addition. Remember: the Twins are 1-12 in postseason games since he left.



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