Good morning from the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where we enter the first full day of the winter meetings.
The folks here expect a busy week now that Shohei Ohtani and and Mike Stanton have found homes. Teams had to hold on to their resources until those cases were closed, and now they can allocate them toward other moves. The hot stove was rather cold while those two players dominated the headlines.
The free agent market for relievers should start to take shape, especially since Brandon Morrow and Luke Gregerson have found new employers.
Pitching is at the top of the Twins shopping list. Team officials arrived here yesterday afternoon, ready to explore different ways to boost their rotation and bullpen. I keep being told that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have been aggressive in their search for arms. Heard that before.
Actions speak louder than words. The Twins have a team on the rise and need to add quality arms to help advance the program. They have never made a big move at the winter meetings. Getting Ervin Santana (above) to agree to a contract at the 2014 meetings was the closest thing to an impact move they have made.
I was told at the beginning of the offseason that the goal was to add a starter as good or close to Santana’s level. Let’s see if the Twins can make that happen this week.
About Jake Mauer
Some have speculated that the Twins canned Jake Mauer, who was managing Class AA Chattanooga. That’s far from the truth.
I spoke with Mauer on Saturday, and he said he informed the Twins after the season that he needed to spend more time with his family.
“The kids are at an age where I need to be home more,” Mauer said,
The Twins offered Mauer a chance to be a roving instructor, with flexibility to see his wife and three children more often. He declined, opting for a clean break.
So Jake Mauer will work at his brother’s auto dealership (big surprise) while coaching locally on the side. I got the sense from the Twins that they would have considered Mauer for their vacant Class AAA Rochester manager’s job if he hadn’t decided to step away.
The Twins still have not named a manager at Rochester.