Thursday, February 7, 2008

Twins announce scouting changes

The Twins made some changes in their scouting department today, shifting around some scouts and announcing a couple of hires. Here's the press release ....


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have promoted/reassigned seven members of their scouting department and added six new scouts to the organization.

The Twins have reassigned their Major League coverage by region. Ken Compton will cover the two Western Divisions along with amateur work in April and May (prior to the draft), Bob Hegman moves from Major League Advance Scout to cover both Central Divisions along with minor league coverage in April and May, and Earl Frishman moves from East Coast Scouting Supervisor to cover the two Eastern Divisions along with amateur work in April and May (prior to the draft).

Shaun McGinn has been hired as the club’s new Advance Scout. He most recently served as the Senior Director of Minor League Operations for the Kansas City Royals (2000-06) and served as a professional scout in 2007. He signed with Philadelphia in 1993 and played in the Phillies minor league system until 1995.

Three area scouts have been promoted to new positions within the scouting department. Sean Johnson takes over as West Coast Supervisor, Mark Quimuyog has been promoted to East Coast Supervisor and Bill Milos has been named Professional Scout.
In addition, Billy Corrigan has been relocated to the Florida territory.

Jeremy Booth will replace Corrigan and oversee Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. After spending five seasons in the Mexican Minor Leagues, he played in the Tampa Bay and Milwaukee organizations in 2001 and 2002. In 2007, Booth was a Regional Scout for the Global Scouting Bureau.

JR DiMercurio will oversee Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. For the last two years, DiMercurio served as the Assistant Baseball Coach at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas, KS.

Jeff Pohl will oversee Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. He served as the pitching coach for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League from 2002-06 before managing the team in 2007. Pohl was a player in the San Francisco Giants minor league system from 1996-1999.

Jack Powell will oversee Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. He has scouted with four organizations (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Tampa Bay), with 30 years of scouting experience.

Ted Williams will oversee Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. He joins the Twins after serving as the “4 corners” Scouting Supervisor for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1999-2007.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jason Kubel and wife welcome first child

Jason Kubel's wife Blake gave birth to the couple's first child early this morning at a hospital in California. Owen Michael Kubel weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

Congrats to the Kubels.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

So Long to Silva

The Twins are confident they can absorb the loss of a $48 million pitcher. That says something about Minnesota’s pitching depth, the market value of .500 starters, or both.

Carlos Silva, who went 47-45 over four seasons in Minnesota and 13-14 last season, walked away from the Twins on Thursday by signing a four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that will average $12 million per season.

“Good for Carlos. He’s a really good guy,” said Twins general manager Bill Smith, whose own offer, reportedly around $18 million over three seasons, would have paid half per season what the Venezuelan right-hander, the beneficiary of a thin crop of free-agent pitchers, will receive from the Mariners. “We went into the winter hoping we could keep him, but it quickly became apparent he would have some good offers.”

And the Twins quickly determined that they could save those millions by parceling out the 202 innings the sinkerballer pitched last season to their class of young pitchers coming up from their minor-league system.

“It’s the one area we’ve got some depth in,” Smith said. “Carlos provided us some innings here, which was good. But we hope we are able to cover those innings with (Scott) Baker and (Boof) Bonser and (Francisco) Liriano and (Kevin) Slowey. We’ve got (Nick) Blackburn, (Glen) Perkins, (Brian) Bass. We really like this group, and now they have that much more of an opportunity.”

Silva’s 47 wins over the past four seasons for Minnesota were second only to Johan Santana’s 70. It’s also 17 more victories than Eric Milton (30-33) has collected since the pitchers were exchanged for each other in a trade with Philadelphia (which also included Nick Punto coming to the Twins) in December 2002.

“This was a great fit here for Carlos,” Smith said. “We took a guy who was stuck in a relief role and gave him a chance. He performed well for us, and I’m happy for him.”

-- Phil Miller

Friday, December 14, 2007

Twins Add 3B Lamb

The Twins’ infield is suddenly coming together.

One day after adding former Astros shortstop Adam Everett, the Twins signed free agent Mike Lamb, the Houston third baseman who has played alongside Everett for four seasons, to a two-year contract (with an option for 2010).

The 32-year-old Lamb, who also played four seasons with Texas, has batted .288 or better in three of his four seasons with the Astros, and averaged 12.2 home runs over that span.

The presence of Lamb, who will compete for playing time with Brian Buscher, and Everett likely makes Brendan Harris, acquired last month from Tampa Bay, the favorite to start at second base.

-- Phil Miller

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Twins Let Tyner Go

With Craig Monroe added to the roster and the strong possibility that another outfielder will be obtained this winter, the Twins have chosen not to offer a contract to Jason Tyner next season, the team announced Wednesday.

Tyner appeared in 114 games last season and hit .286, including his first career home run. But the Twins decided to release him rather than offer him the chance to go to salary arbitration. Tyner earned $400,000 last season, now becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team (including, under a recent change to baseball rules, the Twins).

The move could clear the way for Jason Pridie, acquired along with Delmon Young and Brendan Harris from Tampa Bay last month, to make the team as a reserve outfielder.

The other five arbitration-eligible Twins -- Juan Rincon, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Matt Guerrier and Jason Kubel -- were all offered contracts for 2008.

-- Phil Miller

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monroe Signs for '08

Craig Monroe apparently decided the Twins' offer -- by rule, it couldn't go below roughly $3.8 million -- was more than he would receive as a free agent. So Monroe signed a one-year contract with Minnesota on Tuesday, one day before the Twins would likely have cut him loose had he refused.

Monroe, acquired last month from the Cubs for a player to be named (likely a low-grade prospect), adds depth to the Twins' outfield and gives them a right-handed hitter who can potentially get some at-bats at designated hitter.

Monroe is a six-year veteran who suffered a dreadful year last season, hitting just .212 overall. The Tigers dumped him in August to Chicago, and things didn't get much better there. But he's a lifetime .256 hitter who has hit 18 or more home runs in four different seasons. And remember, even his down-year total of 12 homers last season would have ranked fourth on the Twins.

-- Phil Miller

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winding Down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Opryland Hotel is quickly turning into a ghost town. Bill Smith and most of the Twins’ staff is staying until Friday, but there might be only one or two other teams still here.

Smith just spoke about his week, and the gathering with reporters could best be described as “drowsy.” Everybody is exhausted after four straight 18-hour days.

Smith didn’t sound disappointed, exactly, that no transactions had been completed this week, but I think he was a little surprised that all the momentum from last weekend dissipated so quickly. The new GM said this week was helpful, that it's much easier to talk in person than on the phone or via email, but that didn't change the outcome. He also said progress was made on more than just the Johan Santana negotiations.

His phone is still on, he said, so things could change. But it's clear there isn't much talking going on now. If something is going to happen on the Santana front, it doesn’t look like it’ll be this week.

-- Phil Miller