"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Going, Going, Gone

Usually, the exodus begins after the playoffs. Not so, this year.

Third base coach Al Newman has left the Twins after nineteen years with the organization. Newman cited "some difficulties here" that he felt weren't addressed until they went beyond the point of resolution. He publicly wondered if he were being made a scapegoat (presumably by the organization, because the fans generally think highly of him) for the team's failures this past season.

TBL says: Well, that sucks. I have to wonder if the rampant immaturity that soured clubhouse relations this year spread to the staff, too.

Outfielders Jason Tyner, infielder Glenn Williams and utility man Brent Abernathy were outrighted to Rochester. All are out of options and eligible to become free agents. The organization has expressed a certain amount of interest in working out new deals with them.

TBL says: Mostly I think this is about clearing space on the 40-man roster for possible trade pick-ups, free agents and Rule V draftees. Tyner and Williams in particular did quite well for the Twins last season and should at least be rewarded with an offer. Whether or not those offers are better than any others remains to be seen. The likelihood of Abernathy receiving another offer from the Twins will probably depend on whether or not the Twins get themselves a brand new second baseman in the offseason. If they don't, the job is likely to fall to Nick Punto and Abernathy could return and be in the mix for a utility role. But I'm not holding my breath, especially if Williams is still a Twin.

Designated hitter Matthew LeCroy was outrighted to Rochester and will become a free agent. The organization has expressed its regrets at the end of a longstanding relationship but will not be attempting to re-sign LeCroy.

TBL says: With all those extra outfielders floating around the last few years, the Twins haven't been able to come up with a whole lot of at-bats for LeCroy, and LeCroy is one of those guys who's at his best when played very regularly. I advocated cutting him loose before this season--not because he's a poor player (he isn't), but because the Twins can't give him the time he needs, and he can't give them the part-time power hitter they wanted him to be. Hopefully he'll catch on somewhere as an everyday DH and finally get his chance to shine.

The $8.5 million 2006 option on the contract of right-handed pitcher Joe Mays was declined. The Twins will buy out his option year for half a million and Mays will become a free agent.

TBL says: Baker. Liriano. Bonser? Durbin? We've got younger arms who can probably manage Mays' 5.65 ERA (or better it) for a heckuva lot less than the millions we would've had to pay Joe. Of course, they say the second season after Tommy John surgery is when most guys really come back into form, so there is some risk for future embarassment with this move. But, well, he wasn't exactly Johan Santana before the surgery, y'know?
[Digression: Whilst browsing the AAA pitching stats to see if Bonser had done well enough to be included in the list above, I ran across something interesting. It seems that Corky Miller, who started the season as the Twins 4th catcher (Four catchers! Remember that?), pitched an inning in relief at Rochester sometime this season. Boy, would I love to know the story behind THAT! ]

Second baseman Luis Rivas was outrighted to Rochester and will become a free agent. The Twins will make no attempt to re-sign him.

TBL says: 'Bout damn time, too.

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