This could have been the year to hold two winter meetings. One for pitchers, the other for outfielders.
Teams left the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center with plenty of work left to do on their rosters. The free agent outfield market has not shaken out, the Orioles are struggling to re-sign Chris Davis, the Reds can't move Aroldis Chapman and the Twins and Pirates did little to solve their lefty reliever problems.
Twins GM Terry Ryan was upbeat all week after talking to teams and agents about potential deals. But there was no tangible proof that the lefthaned question had been answered. Frankly, it was strange at times optimistic Ryan sounded during his briefings.
And fans on twitter and my e-mailbox were frustrated. To you, I say calm down.
The last time I checked, the offseason doesn't end with the winter meetings. If I remember correctly, the Twins once signed Joe Crede a week before camp opened and signed Kenny Rogers after camp began. Things don't always materialize in December, and these negotiations often play out past Christmas. This is not the time be exasperated over the lack of transactions. There are about 8-10 other fan bases that could do the same thing.
We learned that the Twins were in discussions with the Yankees about Justin Wilson before he was dealt to the Tigers. And they have spoken with the agents for ALL of the available lefthanders.
Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo were at the top of the free agent list, but was told the Twins weren't in consensus about what these pitchers can do for what they wanted in a contract. That leaves the Twins looking at lower tier lefties - and sets up a reunion with Neal Cotts.
I will point this out. If the Twins are balking because relievers are asking for $5-6 million a year, they could end up stuck on an island alone with their principles. Because other teams are willing to take on the financial risk Oakland has signed Ryan Madson for $6 million a year and John Axford - who doesn't know where his slider is going - for $5 million a year. John Axford, wow.
While I can see where the Twins are coming from, at the same time, all the good relievers will be off to other teams with that approach.
One Twins official agreed that their best route to adding a good lefty reliever might be by making a trade, and that's what I expect will happen.
One other interesting development was the revelation that the Twins intend to Danny Santana play more in the outfield, which I agree with. Santana's numbers were better as a CF than SS, suggesting that when things went wrong when he was playing short, Santana let it affect his offense. He's a great athlete with a lot of speed who can do a lot of damage when he's on base. So it's worth trying him in the outfield. It's a little protection in case Byron Buxton has a horrible spring and he could end up as an extra outfielder-pinch runner type. I like the move.