Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Twins.
Major League Signings
- Carl Pavano, SP: one year, $7MM. Accepted arbitration.
- Orlando Hudson, 2B: one year, $5MM.
- Jim Thome, DH: one year, $1.5MM.
- Clay Condrey, RP: one year, $900K.
- Total spend: $14.4MM.
Notable Minor League Signings
- Brendan Harris, IF: two years, $3.2MM.
Trades and Claims
- Acquired SS J.J. Hardy from Brewers for CF Carlos Gomez
- Acquired P Chris Province from Red Sox for P Boof Bonser
- Boof Bonser, Brian Buscher, Mike Redmond, Ron Mahay, Joe Crede, Carlos Gomez, Armando Gabino, Orlando Cabrera, R.A. Dickey, Philip Humber, Steve Tolleson, Jason Pridie, Bobby Keppel
For about $20MM and Carlos Gomez, Twins GM Bill Smith revamped his middle infield, retained a mid-rotation starter, added an excellent bench bat, and signed a groundballing middle reliever. On paper, Smith improved his team at a reasonable cost.
In Hardy, Smith traded for two seasons of the offseason's best available shortstop. Hudson should easily earn his salary, and might be able to top last year's Twins second base offensive output (.209/.302/.267) batting blindfolded. Pavano's '09 peripherals suggest he deserved an ERA around 4.00 as opposed to his actual 5.10 mark. Thome should come in handy; he hit .262/.383/.498 against righties last year.
The Twins' rotation looks respectable, with Kevin Slowey and Francisco Liriano likely to provide much more than last year's 227.3 innings of 5.42 ball. Does the lineup pack enough punch? CHONE projections suggest the Twins will score 850 runs. That's optimistic, since injuries are inevitable for all teams. Still, it's all relative, and the Twins' offense projects as the best in the division. Thanks to Smith's fine winter, the Twins are my AL Central favorite.