Antony On Cuddyer, Kubel, Young, Nathan, Span

Twins assistant GM Rob Antony discussed the team's offseason moves, players who signed elsewhere over the winter, plans for 2012, and more in an interview with Jesse Lund of the Twinkie Town blog.  Here are some of the highlights…

  • Michael Cuddyer was the Twins' "number one priority all off-season" but moved on once it became clear that the team wouldn't be able to re-sign him.  Antony "always believed he wanted to be a Twin for his entire career" and thinks Cuddyer was "disappointed" to ultimately leave the team for Colorado.
  • Jason Kubel shared his concerns with Antony about how Target Field is a tough stadium for power hitters, and the assistant GM believes this was a factor in Kubel leaving the team.
  • The Twins dealt Delmon Young to the Tigers last season simply because the team put a priority on re-signing Cuddyer and Kubel, so they wanted to get some return for Young rather than possibly non-tender him after the season.
  • Joe Nathan didn't give the Twins a chance to match the $14.75MM contract he received from the Rangers.  Antony said there were no hard feelings about Nathan leaving, since the veteran closer was focused on playing for a contender.  We heard in November that Minnesota's best offer to Nathan was "a bit less" than Texas' offer.
  • The Nationals were "definitely interested" in Denard Span at the trade deadline last summer, but Antony doesn't "think we were ever close to doing anything."
  • Antony said that some internet rumors about players on the trade market often lead to exploratory conversations between GMs about said players.  "There are a lot of names that pop up where we do a lot of that same thing. 'Look, if you're looking to move this guy, he could be a fit over here. I don’t know what’s fact and what’s rumor, but if you are serious in trading a player we’d like to be kept in mind, we have some interest,' " Antony said.  He brought up this point in regards to a question about Martin Prado, which would seem to hint that the Twins and Braves perhaps had such a conversation about the utilityman.
  • Antony thinks Tsuyoshi Nishioka will give Alexi Casilla a strong battle for the starting second base job and that Nishioka "deserves a mulligan" for his tough 2011 season.  Nishioka suffered a broken leg in his first season in the Major Leagues.
  • "We have had more meetings with our training and medical staff this season than in the ten years prior to," Antony said in regards to how the Twins responded to last year's injury-riddled season.  Still, Antony doesn't lay blame on the training staff: "These are the guys who were in place the year before, and the year before, and the year before that, so it’s not like all of a sudden they don’t know how to do their job. And last year, it was a perfect storm of everything that could do wrong, did go wrong."

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10 Comments on "Antony On Cuddyer, Kubel, Young, Nathan, Span"

3 years 6 months ago

now they don’t have young, cuddyer, or kubel. Isn’t irony great?

3 years 6 months ago

So, wait, Cuddyer wanted to be a career Twin, Cuddyer was disappointed to leave Minnesota, it became clear that the Twins wouldn’t be able to resign him…

Doesn’t Cuddyer set his own price and have the power to offer a hometown discount? If Cuddyer seriously wanted to stay in Minnesota then he could have. No one put a gun to his head and told him he couldn’t.

I can’t  help but think that these kinds of interviews are just a bunch of crap that the person being interviewed thinks the fans would like to hear. Cuddyer went to the highest bidder. If he’d wanted to stay in Minnesota he could have as they made a comparable offer to him.

3 years 6 months ago

I would like to see Prado in Minnesota yesterday.

3 years 6 months ago

Ah, what is, and what could never be…

3 years 6 months ago

Regarding Kubel’s comments on the difficult of hitting for power at Target Field….I think the Twins need to start planning revisions NOW for implimentation once MLB is able to review more detailed stats. 

Twins have always been known for their hitting (except in the spans when they lacked hitting as well as pitching)….but the names Killebrew, Oliva, Carew, Puckett, Hrbek…and now Morneau and Mauer (though they’ve been held back by their health as much as the new stadium)…those are the stars who captured the imagination of the public. (Yes, the Twins have had some very significant pitchers as well but only Santana generated truly extreme excitement.)

If the Twins don’t redo the almost brand new Target, they’ll see the very large crowds dimisih shortly. As well, it will be difficult to sign power hitters, new or old.

3 years 5 months ago

This is all smoke and mirrors relayed to us from Twins management by the Star Tribune media.  Pohlads wanted to cut payroll plain and simple.  They won’t spend more than 40-50% of revenues on a payroll AT ALL costs!  Doesn’t matter if they are one or two players (Kubel & Cuddyer) or a couple of starting pitchers (Santana & Garza) away from a world series, playoff berth team. They refuse to spend the money.

They have been and always will be cheap, despite being the richest owners in all of baseball.

3 years 5 months ago

Before hammering on Pohlad, you had better research previous twins owner Calvin Griffith and how he was only worse than Oakland owner Charlie O’Finley for being cheap with “his” team and remember this.. it’s always possible to have a worse owner.. Minneapolis-St.Paul remembers all to well the curse of the Griffith’s.. Or those who were around during the 60’s-early 80’s do at least..

3 years 5 months ago

I realize that.  But i also don’t live in the past.  Remember the Pohlads sold Minneapolis – St. Paul that new stadium with a carrot stick promise of keeping home grown players.  W’ell it looks like they’ll keep A player in Mauer, and thats about it.  

Let see we’ve lost Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan, and soon to be Liriano and Morneau by 2014 (concussion syndoms). 

3 years 5 months ago

Better allocation of resources are one thing to improve the team. Stop giving out LT contracts to rotation fillers like Blackburn, Baker, Pavano etc.. and Focus on pitchers who can anchor a rotation. they are anchored ATM by contracts to Mauer and Morneau, who combine for 37m and they refuse to allocate funds to the Rule 4 draft every June, where they CAN improve the team without spending much.. That is the issue right there.. any team that refuses to spend sub 5-6m in the June draft is hurting itself, especially with the old rules gone.

The new 2012 rules will allow the Twins to spend the most in 2012, 12m+ and Pohlad had best be taking advantage of that, there is where a team gets your value for the $$$ and builds itself.. Ask the TB Rays who win with 1/2 the Payroll of the Twins.

Give the Twins some credit for signing Willingham, who has the bat+ of Cuddyer..If he is healthy and for less as well.

The Twins are just one of those mid market teams who need to take advantage (and failed to in the past) of the draft and also throw away the failed strategy of getting rubbish throwers to make up a rotation and compounding it by giving them LT contracts.

3 years 6 months ago

Man, must have just missed that. And I thought CC getting mugged in downtown Cleveland was bad.