It seems like the Twins haven’t done much this offseason, but the most significant thing they did was add Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to run the front office. Falvey’s former employers, he Indians, were in the World Series, which delayed his arrival in Minnesota, so he had only a month to get to know his know organization as the offseason machinations got underway. There was even less time for Thad Levine, who Falvey hired to be the General Manager. They knew initially that they wanted to sign Jason Castro, which they did, and then have been tied up with the ongoing Brian Dozier saga. Mostly, they have been getting to know their new team, the assets, the personalities, the needs and the environment.
Now, the holidays are over, the new front office is growing comfortable in their roles and are starting to make the more minor roles that every organization makes in the offseason. They might feel like bigger deals simply because of how quiet it has appeared on the outside to this point. The Twins’ more high profile maneuvers were signing pitchers Ryan Vogelsong, Nick Tepesch and Jim Miller, as well as catcher Chris Gimenez.
Any of these players could appear on the major league roster this year. Vogelsong is a veteran who was a member of the Pirates’ rotation last year, until he took a line drive to the face. Tepesch comes from the Rangers, where he missed the year, having a rib removed, not unlike Phil Hughes, He hasn’t been great in his career, but he is a known asset to Levine. Miller was once a dominant closer, but was in indy ball last year. Gimenez will challenge John Ryan Murphy for a spot on the roster. If Murphy or Castro hit above their level, I could foresee the Twins going with three good defensive catchers this year. Gimenez profiles as a worse version of Castro, with some veteran experience.
None of these deals are blockbusters, but they are also low risk, with a bit of upside. Intelligent consideration in these small maneuvers is what will make or break a general manager. Expect at least one of these players to bear fruit for the Twins this year, but if they don’t, that’s ok too. They aren’t on guaranteed contract that will hold Minnesota back, like, say, Kevin Correia or Mike Pelfrey of years past (I used those two, because they were never good. Ricky Nolasco greatly underperformed expectations). Of greater interest, it appears as the Twins are now truly fully up and running after their slow start. Now that the front office is settled in, what can they do in the month before pitchers and catchers report?