The news that Scott Baker is injured….
As things sit right now, the Twins would have $30 million to spend on four starting pitchers. Presumably, one of those is going to be prospect Liam Hendricks, who might very well take over Baker's spot in the rotation if he's out for any length of time. And he’ll make less than $500,000.
The Twins aren't likely to drop $30 million on the three remaining starting pitcher spots, because pitchers who cost $10 million per year tend to only be available on longer multi-year contracts which the Twins avoid. The exception, of course, would be Baker and his option year.
So even if Baker has yet one more substandard year, he could be in line for that extension. A mixture of need, promise, likeability and extra budget dollars means that Baker could be around in 2013.
The Twins have two other decisions to make next year, too. First, Alexi Casilla, if he plays the full year, will probably be up for at least a $2 to $3 million salary. Just because they Twins seem to be focused on other options long-term, I didn’t include him. I hope he has his breakthrough this year and I’m wrong about that.
The other is Matt Capps. The Twins have a $6 million option on Capps for next year. I think the Perkins extension indicates the Twins have plans for him to ultimately take over the closer role, which might finally and mercifully end the Twins obsession with Capps. But I've been wrong about that before.
The hottest Twins topic is who is going to make the Twins roster, and Jim Crikket posted a nice primer if you want to catch up on who your newest Twins might be. If you want to be a little more specific, or check in on your favorite dark horse, check out Thryloss' dashboard look at how each bench and bullpen arm has performed.
Seth, meanwhile, continues to take a look at how the Twins stack up against the rest of the AL Central at various positions. Surprisingly for a 99-loss team, they look awfully good. Of his latest two positions, I'd argue the Twins have the second best right-fielder in the bunch and the best center fielder. There just might be some hope after all....
Things are not so sunny in the Forum. First, we keep trying to put last year behind us, but it really is hard, especially for the morbidly curious. Plus, when we focus on the spring, we're reminded that Tsuyoshi Nishioka still looks lost out there. Just how are we going to keep him off the roster?