Winter confidential Day 4
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Well, the generally uneventful winter meetings conclude Thursday with the Rule 5 draft — which is expected to be eventful for the Twins in all the wrong ways.
Some clubs and draft analysts have spent the past couple of days whispering about players the Twins left unprotected for the draft. There’s a belief the Twins farm system is going to take a hit Thursday.
The group left unprotected includes righthander Nick Burdi, taken 46th overall in 2014. Yes, he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he can touch 100 miles per hour and has a solid breaking pitch when healthy.
Righthander Kohl Stewart was the fourth overall pick in 2013. He hasn’t developed into the strikeout pitcher the Twins had hoped, but his status as a high pick could lead to interest from another club.
And righthander Jake Reed, a fifth-round pick in 2014, missed a chunk of the season recovering from a lat injury he suffered facing the Twins in the final game of the exhibition season. Still, he throws 94-97 mph with an improving breaking ball.
“Every team is sitting in that room thinking, ‘Oh boy, there’s a couple players on the list,’ ” Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said. “I think you realize you have to manage roster flexibility and do the best you can. And if that happens, it happens. But we feel like we protected the guys we really needed to.”
• Some Twins coaches, including hitting coach James Rowson and first base coach Jeff Smith, have been in town this week to meet with manager Paul Molitor and the front office.
La Velle E. Neal III