Scott Diamond Rumors

Twins Notes: Mauer, Pelfrey, Garza, Morgan

SB Nation's Grant Brisbee examines the ups and downs of Joe Mauer's contract and wonders what Mauer would have signed for had he been a free agent this offseason. Mauer is owed $115MM over the remainder of his contract, and while Brisbee feels he'd fall a bit shy of that, he still predicts a healthy six-year, $101MM contract. Mauer would have been the second-best hitter in this year's free agent class, Brisbee notes, pointing out that among 2013-14 free agents, only Robinson Cano has a higher OPS+ than Mauer over the past two seasons. More Twins-related news and rumors…

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

Twins Retain Scott Diamond Through Trade

The Twins have retained Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond by working out a trade with the Braves, tweets's Rhett Bollinger.  The Twins are sending righty relief prospect Billy Bullock to the Braves in the deal.  Diamond was assigned outright to Triple-A, according to the Twins.

Diamond, a 24-year-old southpaw, posted a 3.46 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 0.3 HR/9 in 158 2/3 innings across 27 starts at Double and Triple-A last year.  Baseball America ranked him 29th among Twins prospects, noting that his ceiling is as a fourth or fifth starter.

Bullock, 23, put up a 3.53 ERA, 12.8 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 74 relief innings for the Twins' High-A and Double-A clubs last year.  BA ranked Bullock 15th among Twins prospects, praising his repertoire but questioning his command.  Having swapped their #15 prospect for their 29th best, the Twins clearly don't agree with Baseball America's rankings in this case.

Twins Trying To Work Out Deal To Keep Diamond

The Twins announced their 25-man Opening Day roster today, and one player who didn't make the cut was left-hander Scott Diamond. Manager Ron Gardenhire told's Rhett Bollinger that they're now trying to work out a deal with the Braves to keep the Rule 5 Draft pick in the organization (Twitter link).

Diamond, 24, allowed one run in six innings this spring, but he walked six and struck out just two. Baseball America ranked him as the 29th-best prospect in the Twins' system in the 2011 edition of their Prospect Handbook, saying Diamond throws four pitches but has the ceiling of a fourth or fifth starter. They predicted that he'd fill a long relief or lefty specialist role had he made the club.

Atlanta originally signed Diamond as an undrafted free agent back in 2007. If the Twins are unable to work out a trade to keep him, he would have to first clear waivers and be offered back to the Braves before he could go to the minors.

Central Notes: Barmes, Indians, Royals, Diamond

Let's check out some items concerning the Central divisions..

  • Astros GM Ed Wade told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that the club will explore outside options with Clint Barmes sidelined for four-to-six weeks.  Morosi notes that Houston has Angel Sanchez and Tommy Manzella in-house as well.
  • The Indians' projected payroll for 2011 is roughly $48.5MM, writes Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.  This marks the third straight year that the payroll has declined and the lowest it has been since 2005.  In that year, the Indians opened with a $41.5MM payroll.
  • More from the Tribe as skipper Manny Acta said he'll likely meet with GM Chris Antonetti today to discuss remaining decisions that need to be made, Jordan Bastian of tweets.
  • The Royals cut four minor league players today, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  Right-handers Aaron Hartsock and Scott Kelley and infielders Justin Figueroa and Tom Zebroski were given their walking papers.  Kansas City has already made a handful of minor league transactions this week.
  • Rhett Bollinger of (via Twitter) spoke to Twins manager Rod Gardenhire about Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond.  The skipper said that he hasn't haven’t seen enough of him to really evaluate him, though he noted that he's not speaking for the organization.  The 24-year-old left-hander was plucked from the Braves.
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) applauds the Cubs for telling Carlos Silva that they will look to trade him.  Heyman suggests that the Mariners should do the same with Milton Bradley.

Quick Hits: Overbay, Accardo, Diamond, Astros

Links for Sunday, as Opening Day inches a little closer….