The Terry Ryan era begins anew for the Minnesota Twins. The first time Ryan was named general manager, taking over the Twins in 1994, it took him eight years to turn around a team with 91 losses into one with a winning record in 2001.
From 2002 to 2007, the Twins won four division titles before he turned the reins over to Bill Smith.
Hopefully, he won't take as long to turn the 99-loss team of 2011 back into a AL Central division contender.
On the positive side, Ryan will have more resources at his disposal than he ever had before. The downside may be that the expectations are higher than ever, and after building the Twins a new stadium, there will be little patience to wait for a turnaround.
Ryan's first move has been to sign veteran shortstop Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal. This feels too much like the type of deals Ryan was forced to make under the constraint of a limited budget. At 37, Carroll only has 12 home runs in 10 professional seasons. Unfortunately he appears to fit the Twins mold for weak-hitting middle infielders that they seem to covet.
The Twins have needs in the infield, outfield, within the starting rotation and in the bullpen.
Here's to hoping that Ryan's bigger and bolder moves are still in the works, and he's waiting for the right time to pull them off.