Happy Holidays! I decided that with not a whole lot going on last week to hold off on writing until today, even though there's still nothing going on with the Twins.
I also wanted to mention that I have switched to the old commenting system (the blogger default) in the wake of HaloScan switching to ECHO (thanks to Aaron Gleeman for the heads-up). I may sometime choose to use ECHO, but at this time it just makes more sense to use the default commenting system.
• The Twins sent two scouts to Houston on Dec. 14 to monitor Aroldis Chapman while he put together a bullpen session for potential buyers. Chapman, a 21-year-old southpaw who defected from Cuba last summer, is considered the year's best international free agent and one of the best remaining pitchers on the open market. He began drawing attention last Spring, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun, while pitching for the Cuban national team in the World Baseball Classic.
Generally, this wouldn't be worth mentioning. In years past, the Twins have remained dormant while other teams have assertively hit the international market with force.
This year, the Twins have been one of the year's biggest buyers in the international market and signing Chapman may not be out of the question.
Twins GM Bill Smith, like always, wouldn't give people much to dwell on when commenting on Chapman, "This is one of any number of these workouts we attend each year. It's as much information gathering as anything else. We've seen this guy a number of times. We've seen him in the WBC and in a number of tournaments."
It's likely that any deal for Chapman will be more than the $15.1 million deal that Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in last June's draft, received from the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox have reportedly offered Chapman a contract worth around $15.5 million.
If the Twins are serious about signing Chapman, which I hope that they are, they'll have to dig deep into their pockets to pick up any loose change they might have lying around.
Unfortunately, I doubt they have the funds to pull off such a deal, even though I agree with Parker Hageman in thinking that it may be a very reasonable contract, if the Twins believe that all of the hype surrounding him is justified.
• Mark DeRosa, who the Twins have had interest in before, may lean towards signing with the San Francisco Giants. The deal is reportedly worth $12 million over two years, which is significantly lower than the three-year, $27 million deal he was supposedly looking for heading into free agency.
Despite the lowered salary, I'm still more inclined to see the Twins sign either Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez, who are both still available and (at least on the surface) don't seem to have a ton of interest at this time.
The Twins look as though they'll stick with their status quo of waiting for the market to thin out before striking a deal. But I'm fine with that. The Twins have watched players such as Pedro Feliz, Garrett Atkins, and Troy Glaus go to other teams, but that's not a bad thing.
Clubs are filling their vacancies at second base or third base and players like Lopez, Hudson, Adrian Beltre, and Miguel Tejada sit around with no contract in hand. It does seem that the longer the Twins wait, the cheaper their options will be. Just have to hope that they strike before it's too late.
• Finally, here's a new blog to check out. It's called The Willard's Twins Blog. Hope you enjoy!
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