The Minnesota Twins are traditionally a quiet team at the Winter Meetings, and halfway through the 2009 session they’ve maintained that quietness. The Twins have locked up Carl Pavano for next season, but no other moves have been made with one full day remaining in Indianapolis.
No moves doesn’t mean no news however. The Winter Meetings are a time for many talks and many rumors, and the Twins can be found sparingly in the Tuesday rumblings.
Perkins Trade? Kouzmanoff Coming?
When Carl Pavano was signed it secured four of five rotation spots for next season. Only one spot now remains, and several pitchers including Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing will likely compete next spring to fill it.
A fallout between the organization and lefty Glen Perkins along with a crammed roster has many believing Perkins may be traded rather than tendered a contract by this Saturday’s deadline.
Tuesday afternoon reports broke that the San Diego Padres were interested in talking with the Twins regarding third basemen Kevin Kouzmanoff. Late Tuesday evening it was reported by USA Today sportswriter Bob Nightengale that the Twins had made an offer
“The Minnesota Twins are offering pitcher Glenn Perkins for Padres 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, but the Padres are seeking more.”
How much more the Padres want, and how interested the Twins truly are remains to be seen. But for the first time at the 2009 Winter Meetings, Minnesota seems to be active.
Third Base Options
Outside of Kevin Kouzmanoff third base options remain on the free agent market. FoxSports.com says the Twins have interest
in four players thus far:
The Twins are sifting through a number of free agent options at third base, including Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz, Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe, according to a major league source.
Beltre will probably be out of the team’s price range. DeRosa might be, too. But Feliz and Uribe could fit.
With the 40-man roster full and no room for Carl Pavano, the Twins were faced with a decision Monday night. On Tuesday they announced that Boof Bonser had been designated for release or assignment.
The Twins now have until Saturday to non-tender him (release him) or trade him according to the Pioneer Press
Blockbuster in Detroit
Finally, the Detroit Tigers may have moved on to the future after trading away both Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson. They received a pretty good package, but it seems as though they’re now looking past the 2010 season.
Michael Cuddyer said it best when he described the baseball season recently: the first forty games you look to keep close, the next eighty or so you look to pull ahead, and the final forty you look to hold that lead.
The first phase of the season was successful for Minnesota. They stuck right in the race through the first forty games, sticking within four games or so of first place in the American League Central.
Now halfway through the second phase, the Twins are still playing like they’re in the first phase; simply sticking in the race. In 2006 when the Twins won the division, they pulled away, and they did the same when they barely missed out on October baseball last season.
As the Twins entered July and the final game of their nine-game road trip, they were looking to move two games above the .500 mark for the first time this season. Seven times the Twins had been a game above .500, and seven times they lost the next game to fall even in the standings.
The biggest struggle for the Twins as they near the midway point in the season has been getting over the .500 hump. They’ve had no trouble sticking around the mark through the first three months, but staying above it has been another story.
In their eighth attempt to move more than one game above .500, the Twins succeeded. A victory over the Royals not only gives the Twins a 6-3 record on the road trip, it also gets them over one of the initial humps needed to make a playoff run.
How long the Twins maintain it will be the next key. With first-place Detroit visiting the Metrodome this weekend, and the gap potentially only three games, Minnesota has a chance to draw even with a sweep, gain ground with two wins, or fall back with one or fewer victories.