Jim Souhan reminds us how much we need to resign Joe Mauer. Wrote the Star Tribune columnist on Friday "He is the rare catcher who can dominate with his arm, bat and eye. While there are plenty of first basemen and outfielders who make an offensive impact on the game, Mauer gives the Twins an unparalleled advantage because of the position he plays." This is quite the about-face from the scribe's sentiments on the local catcher as recently as 2007. Back in September of that year, Souhan opined and advocated for Mauer's relocation to third writing "It would be easier and cheaper to find a catcher to share time with Redmond than to sign an everyday third baseman, and Redmond is hitting and producing runs about as well as Mauer this year, anyway."
Speaking of Redmond, MLB.com's San Diego Padres beat writer, Cory Brock, notes that the Padres are interested in bringing in the elderly backstop. Over the past three seasons, Redmond has watched his offensive skill deteriorate at a breakneck rate. This past season, his three pulled hits, a new career low, was a strong indication that his swing as atrophied greatly. If you are looking for a silverlining, you can say he take "professional" at-bats, as he rarely strikes out and has moved runners along the base paths. But at 39-years-old it is clear he is extremely unlikely to provide anything except 40 games of offensive disappointment playing in reprieve of the starting catcher.
San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser says that the A's may have interest in bring back shortstop Orlando Cabrera - only to be considered for the third base vacancy. Oakland's 2009 offense averaged just 4.69 runs per game, a below average amount. Re-acquiring Cabrera would seemingly exacerbate the issues, not resolve it. Especially if it is in a third base capacity. In 101 games with Oakland last year, Cabrera hit .280/.318/.365, which was well below the league's third base average line of .269/.338/.423.
After the Twins released Bobby Keppel, winning pitcher of Game 163, the Nippon Ham Fighters signed him to play in Japan. Keppel's replacement is right-hander Clay Condrey who was released by the Phillies in December.
Twins MLB.com beat writer, Kelly Thesier, announced from her Twitter account that the Twins will be inviting 14 non-roster invitees to spring training including Ben Revere, Anthony Slama, Rene Tosoni and Chris Parmelee.
Star Tribune's La Velle E Neal uncovered the truth behind the Jarrod Washburn rumors. According to his sources inside the Twins organization, the Twins indeed offered the 35-year-old lefty a one-year, $5M contract that was turned down by his agent, Scott Boras. Neal continues by saying the Twins may attempt to follow through with their initial offer as the offseason wears on. Furthermore, the message relayed to Neal was that the Twins would be hesitant to sign any free agents to multi-year deals because of the impact Mauer's impending contact will have on future budgets.