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

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 FINAL
Minnesota 3
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 105
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Orlando 100
Cleveland 120 FINAL
Toronto 112
Utah 84 FINAL
Boston 85
Charlotte 115 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Denver 100 FINAL
Minnesota 85
Detroit 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
LA Lakers 94 FINAL
Miami 100
Philadelphia 118 FINAL
Oklahoma City 123
Memphis 102 FINAL
Houston 100
Sacramento 85 FINAL
San Antonio 112
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
Golden State 102
Portland 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Ottawa 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Colorado 3
Montreal 1 FINAL
Anaheim 3
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 77 FINAL
Penn State 67
Maine 66 FINAL
Albany 83
Duquesne 81 FINAL
Fordham 66
George Washington 67 FINAL
George Mason 51
Tennessee 78 FINAL
LSU 63
Notre Dame 71 FINAL
Louisville 59
SE Missouri St 74 FINAL
Morehead State 79
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Mount St Marys 58
Hartford 63 FINAL
New Hampshire 67
Wagner 68 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Long Island 70 FINAL
St Francis-NY 79
La Salle 50 FINAL
Saint Josephs 55
Providence 79 FINAL
Seton Hall 66
UCF 45 FINAL
South Florida 74
Binghamton 57 FINAL
Stony Brook 62
UMBC 39 FINAL
Vermont 66
Sacred Heart 85 FINAL
Bryant 91
Richmond 56 FINAL
Massachusetts 53
Wake Forest 51 FINAL
Duke 94
Purdue 66 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Miami-Florida 67 FINAL
Pittsburgh 63
St Bonaventure 64 FINAL
Saint Louis 48
New Mexico St 69 FINAL
TX-Pan American 48
Houston 68 FINAL
Tulane 63
Howard 62 FINAL
NJIT 71
TCU 70 FINAL
Oklahoma State 82
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
Tulsa 47
USC 74 FINAL
UCLA 85
Miss State 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Utah State 53 FINAL
Wyoming 76
St Johns 67 FINAL
Marquette 51
SIU Edwardsville 66 FINAL
Eastern Ill 78
Air Force 66 FINAL
Fresno State 68
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Illinois 69
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Nevada 62
Boise State 68 FINAL
San Jose St 51
San Diego St 60 FINAL
UNLV 58
Oregon 65 FINAL
Oregon State 62
UC Santa Barbara 98 FINAL
Hawaii 90
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Davidson 63 FINAL
La Salle 74
Loyola-Maryland 46 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Boston U 48 FINAL
Colgate 58
Coll of Charleston 58 FINAL
James Madison 107
Delaware 76 FINAL
Elon 77
Drexel 58 FINAL
Northeastern 42
Hofstra 75 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 76
Towson 56 FINAL
William & Mary 68
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Akron 67
Ball State 85 FINAL
Central Michigan 69
Buffalo 55 FINAL
Bowling Green 47
Western Mich 65 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 74
Ohio U 69 FINAL
Kent State 56
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 73
Illinois-Chicago 54 FINAL
Wright State 74
Alabama 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Detroit 60 FINAL
Milwaukee 56
Purdue 58 FINAL
Wisconsin 56
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close