Miguel Sano’s debut with the Twins has beeen nothing short of outstanding, and in light of that success, 1500 ESPN’s Derek Wetmore reexamines Sano’s highly publicized signing with the Twins as an international free agent back in 2009. Sano, whose signing is chronicled in the 2011 documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero, signed with the Twins for $3.15MM six years ago. The Pirates were said to have made an offer of $2.6MM at the time, and Wetmore spoke to a person involved in the negotiations that said the Yankees made an offer in the $3MM range as well. Mutual respect between the Twins and agent Rob Plummer played a large role in Sano’s eventual decision, Wetmore writes, and VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff gave longtime Twins international scout Fred Guerrero quite a bit of credit as well when speaking to Wetmore about the signing. The 2009 international class has a chance to be one of the best — if not the best — in Twins history, as Minnesota not only landed Sano, but Top 100 prospect Jorge Polanco ($775K) and likely Top 100 prospect Max Kepler ($800K) as well.
Here’s more from the AL Central…
- Johnny Cueto’s struggles with the Royals are cause for concern among fans, but manager Ned Yost expressed confidence that he can turn it around following a tough loss yesterday, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Cueto, who has a 4.86 ERA in eight starts with the Royals and has yielded 21 runs over his past 20 innings, is believed by the team to be experiencing mechanical issues — specifically his shoulder flying open. However, Yost and Cueto didn’t feel that was the issue on Sunday, and the right-hander plans to spend extra time watching video to pinpoint the source of his struggles. Cueto was acquired to be the team’s postseason ace, writes ESPN’s Christina Kahrl, but prolonged struggles could lead to Yordano Ventura taking over as the team’s top arm. Kahrl dives into some of the numbers behind Cueto’s recent troubles, noting that his velocity remains sound, but he’s seeing less break on his slider, which could be causing problems.
- Despite the departure of president Mark Shapiro, Indians fans shouldn’t expect to see a dramatic change in the club’s philosophy or approach to free agency, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in his latest mailbag piece. Those who had reported to Shapiro will now instead report to owner Paul Dolan, and Dolan’s influence will still of course be strong. Signing players such as Chris Davis won’t be happening this winter, Hoynes says confidently, and he doesn’t expect to see top prospects such as Clint Frazier or or Bradley Zimmer traded in order to provide immediate offensive upgrades, either.