Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twins Enter New Year Same As Old Year

In an offseason thus far dominated by the New York Yankees spending money like they got a government bailout, the Minnesota Twins remain virtually the same team fielded at the end of the 2008 season.

Not that anyone in their right mind expected the tight-stringed Twins to be big players in any kind of market, let alone during an economic recession. Come on: wasn't it odd to even hear the Twins mentioned in rumors surrounding 34-year-old third baseman Casey Blake? [Especially when the other team in the so-called bidding war was the deep pocketed Los Angeles Dodgers of, um, Los Angeles.]

There was strong talk from the Twins front office of going after someone for help on the left side of the infield and in relief pitching. That talk was about as strong as the plot of Twilight -- predictable, yet unsatisfying.

The Twins picked up a knuckleballer they destroyed last season (R.A. Dickey) and solidified the left side of the infield by re-signing Nick Punto. At least the Twins did improve their standing in the division by refusing to listen to the laughable comeback attempt by former pitcher Scott Erickson and releasing SS Adam Everett and somehow getting the Tigers to sign him for $1 million a season (someone explain that salary and its justification when Commissioner Bud Selig asked teams to exercise financial prudence in tough economic times).

I don't hear any talk of the Twins making another pickup. Every other team inquires about one of the Twins starting pitchers who are in the rotation. Billy Smith isn't willing to give one up and here the team sits. My prediction: they will continue to sign players to minor league contracts and invite others to Spring Training, but make very little other noise.

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