- The Twins weren’t necessarily surprised by Torii Hunter’s retirement in October, Antony says. That Hunter made his decision early in the offseason allowed the Twins time to plan, and helped them enter the bidding for KBO slugger Byung Ho Park. Later, Antony adds that the Twins had been aware of Park since he was in high school, and they were interested in signing him even then.
- The Twins struggled offensively at the catcher position in 2015, and especially didn’t do well from the backup catcher spot. That deficiency led them to acquire John Ryan Murphy (who they got from the Yankees for Aaron Hicks). Murphy, Antony feels, can be a long-term answer as a starting catcher. That trade took place in November, and Antony says that the Twins wanted to make the deal quickly because many teams were looking for catching and the Twins wanted to get a player who might be around for several years. For that reason, they felt that the trade market was a better avenue to pursue than the free agent market.
- The Twins considered blowing past their international bonus pool in recent years but did not do so because of the way the market for international amateur talent unfolded. “[W]hat ended up happening was a few teams – basically we had about six, seven players that we were prepared to just go get and spend millions of dollars on – well, some teams that lost out on guys they were after went after some of those same players and basically doubled what we were prepared to do,” Antony says.
- The Twins have not discussed the possibility of eating a portion of the $25MM remaining on Ricky Nolasco’s contract in a potential trade, despite how poorly the first two years of his contract have gone. Nolasco’s role on this year’s team is unclear, but Antony emphasizes that the Twins plan to use him and still view him as a potentially helpful pitcher.