Hello and Happy New Year! It's been too long since I last posted. So it's time for a couple notes.
ANY MORE MOVES?: Twins are still, ``sniffing around,'' for pitching help, General Manager Terry Ryan told me today. No, that doesn't mean they are in on Max Scherzer. Ryan indicated that they might sign one or two more pitchers to bring into camp as non-roster invites. That means a couple of unheralded arms, or someone coming back from injury.
I know they were, ``sniffing around,'' Logan Ondrusek during the winter meetings, but the former Reds reliever is headed East - as in the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Leagues. We'll see what Ryan comes up with, but I think the key elements of his staff are already locked and loaded for Fort Myers.
I mentioned Michael Tonkin as a pitcher who needs to step up in the bullpen (gotta love that fastball), and Ryan added Lester Oliveros and Ryan Pressly as candidates too. Oliveros could be a sleeper in camp. He throws 93-95 (or more) and is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.
Pitchers and catchers report in about six weeks. Where has the offseason gone?
WINTER BALL: The Carribean Leagues are swinging into the postseason. Kennys Vargas wasn't supposed to play in the postseason this year, but there he is for Mayaguez. The man has walked 33 times in 37 games. He was intentionally walked on Saturday in a pinch hitting role, and I'm guessing he's been pitched around this winter. See what happens when you get some MLB time? Street cred. He's batting .263 with 6 home runs and 22 RBI - and a .430 on base percentage. He leads in home runs and is second in RBI - to fellow Twins prospect Daniel Ortiz.
A year ago, I was asked if Vargas was a prospect, and I replied that he wasn't much of one. He needed - and still needs work - on his defense. And, besides power, didn't offer much. Look what has happened in the last year.
HOF: The results of the Hall of Fame voting will be announced Tuesday at 1 p.m., and I think we might end up with a big class.
The last time the BBWAA voted in four players in the same class was 1955, I believe. There's a chance for four this year, with Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez being eligible for the first time and Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza among the returnees. We'll post our ballots online sometime tomorrow. I will reveal now that I voted for 10 players, currently the maximum allowed.
Tuesday could be a great day for baseball.
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