There was plenty of news on the baseball front today as the GM Meetings got the offseason going in earnest. If you’re interested in learning about the top free agents available, be sure to check out MLBTR’s annual ranking of the top fifty — with salary and signing predictions. And for those who’ve already given that a look, give a listen to the recent edition of The Ringer’s “The MLB Show” podcast with Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann, in which MLBTR’s own Tim Dierkes joined to break down the coming hot stove season.
Here’s the latest from the AL Central:
- The Twins have expressed interest in catcher Jason Castro as the offseason gets underway, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. Minnesota’s new-look front office will sit down with Castro’s representatives tomorrow at the GM Meetings, per the report. The 29-year-old Castro is a well-regarded pitch framer who delivers some power from the left side, though his limited on-base ability saps much of his offensive value. There figure to be quite a few teams with interest in the veteran backstop, as a number of organizations will be looking to shore up their mix behind the plate.
- As the Twins seek to build around a core of young talent that is largely already in place, the organization hopes to find some veteran pieces to supplement that group, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune writes. Levine spoke of the need for “clubhouse ambassadors,” explaining that elder statesmen help get the best out of a team’s in-prime players. Precisely how this interest will be manifested in the team’s offseason plans remains to be seen, and major splashes can probably be ruled out, but it seems that Minnesota could look to supplement its roster via free agency.
- While Brian Dozier represents an excellent trade chip for the Twins, at least in theory, Berardino explains that it may not be as easy to achieve value for him as might be expected. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine both discussed the team’s best player in 2016, noting that despite his monster season, the second base position is well-stocked leaguewide. While there would certainly be interest in a player who Levine says is viewed “with a ton of respect” by the incoming brass, the Twins may not have an opportunity to start a bidding war for his services in hopes of finding an overwhelming return.
- The Indians did not acquire ace reliever Andrew Miller with thoughts of flipping him this winter, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said today, and the team doesn’t intend to change that approach now. (Via Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, on Twitter.) Miller’s exploits are well-documented, and his market value already evident in the price that Cleveland paid to acquire him. While it is surely tempting for the team to consider seeking to recoup some of its investment to fill other needs, it seems that it will instead continue to deploy Miller as a high-leverage force.
- Unsurprisingly, Royals GM Dayton Moore said today that his club isn’t likely to do much of significance on the open market, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. “I don’t look for us to be real aggressive with free agents,” he said. “Just because we’re not going to be in a position to add significant payroll — if any, at all, at this point.” Still, the team is interested in pursuing a reunion with Kendrys Morales after passing on a chance to make him a qualifying offer. That seems unlikely unless his market fails to develop — or if the team finds a way to make the salary fit.
The Tribe should at least hear what offers are on the table for Miller. His value will never be higher, they could flip him for a solid young bat that is controllable for years plus a high prospect.
Any logic behind the Twins flipping their Rule 5 Draft choice for something smaller, but more controllable?
I’m wondering what sort of piece might make sense.
A couple of years ago the astros traded theirs (#1 overall) for Anthony Bass. So nothing of much value.
Twins need pitching, cardinals have pitching, any sense in the cardinals trying to get dozier? Move carp back to third. Carp, dozier, piscotty, dozier as your top of the order would be solid
I wouldn’t mind having Luke Weaver as a Twin. Twins would likely need him plus 1-2 lower level guys (just a guess). Don’t see much else that’s appealing that’s close to the majors, which is what the Twins need SP and catching-wise (assuming Alex Reyes would be off the table).
What about the Dodgers being a trade partner for Brian Dozier? Dodgers best hitters are all left handed and Justin Turner is a free agent. Dodgers are trying to get rid of Howie Kendrick. Why not Kendrick and two top 10 prospects for Dozier?
If they trade him it’d most likely be for young talent only. No reason to pay a guy like Kendrick $10m if they plan on blowing things up.
Twins don’t have a need/fit for Kendrick. Plus, he would not be the centerpiece in a deal for a top 5ish 2B. Twins already have Dozier’s replacement in Polanco and two utility guys. They need major league ready SP or C as main centerpiece.
Would think it would take De Leon plus other low level minor leaguers.
Dozier shouldn’t be traded to St. Louis unless Tsunamy is involved. Or to the Dodgers unless Urias is involved. Or to my Cubs unless Jimenez is involved.
Dozier was an 8th Round Pick. Draft better.
babe ruth was undrafted. draft round means nothing when your an established major leaguer
I get the fact that Dozier is the Twins biggest most obvious trade piece but IMO he is a guy you put your stock into and build around. Offensive numbers aside. Talk about leadership, this guy has all the tools of a great ball player on field and in the clubhouse. Lock him up.
I like Dozier, but are the Twins going to be good again before he starts declining? He’s going to be 30. How many more years of this does he have in him? He’s been good/great the last three years. Should the Twins really extend him beyond age 32 (he’s already signed until then). Seems like that would be a mistake.
Some players are the exception to the usual age decline but I don’t know that he is, especially considering the state of the Twins pitching. The Twins have made many mistakes in recent years, hanging on to players for too long until they have zero trade value, is one of them. I don’t want the Twins to make that same mistake with Dozier. They have a 2B in waiting in Polanco.
I don’t want him to just be given away but if the Twins can get major league ready SP or C for him (not just anyone), they need to do it. Having Dozier on the team hasn’t stopped all the losing. Having him off the team in return for what they desperately need would be a step in the right direction.
Castro would be a nice get, but I’m guessing he’d have way more desirable suitors than the Twins.