The Twins came into the Winter Meetings in search of starting pitching…yet again.
Finally, after sitting idly by for the better part of the first two and a half days of the Winter Meetings, it is beginning to look like the Twins may actually walk away from San Diego with another arm for the rotation.
Earlier today, we reported that the club is interested in Ervin Santana and willing to surrender a second round draft pick to acquire him.
Neither option is overly inspiring for Twins fans that have watched the club make similar stopgap signings in recent years with names like Jason Marquis, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, and Ricky Nolasco immediately coming to mind.
Volquez, 31, is coming off one of the better seasons of his career after going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, and 140/71 K/BB in 192.2 innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Those numbers were good enough to net Volquez 2.5 WAR, the second best number of his career after the 4.8 he posted during his breakout year in 2008.
Prior to that, however, Volquez was mostly a train wreck in stints with the Reds, Padres, and Dodgers. From 2009-2013 Volquez posted a mediocre 4.94 ERA, 1.509 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, and lead the National League in walks with 105 allowed in 2012. He followed that up by leading the league in earned runs with 108 in 2013. That stretch was good enough for -2.0 WAR. It’s hard to imagine a move to the American League would do him any favors.
Making matters worse, Volquez is reportedly looking to parlay his bounce-back season into a two-year, $20 million deal. That’s not crazy money, but it’s more than the Twins can afford to spend on a potential dumpster fire.
Kendrick, 30, is not coming off a great season. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to say he’s ever even had a very good season. In an eight-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies, he’s put up a 4.42 ERA, 1.367 WHIP, and a 1.93 K/BB ratio.
In a word: pass.
The club was previously linked to some actual big league pitchers including Francisco Liriano before he re-signed with the Pirates and Justin Masterson’s name has been tossed around, but it’s looking more and more like Masterson will have plenty of offers to choose from and the Twins aren’t considered a likely destination.
Currently, there’s been nothing more than speculation and reported interest, but no action.
The club reportedly met with Creative Arts Agency – the agency that represents Jake Peavy – at the general manager meetings in November to discuss the veteran right-handed starter signing with Minnesota, but – unsurprisingly – nothing came out of that conversation. At 33-years-old and coming off back-to-back World Series titles with Boston and San Francisco, respectively, it’s hard to imagine Peavy views the rebuilding Twins as a legitimate destination.
As it stands, the Twins have made one addition to the club this offseason when they brought back 39-year-old Torii Hunter on a one-year, $10.5 million deal to
lazily jog after flyballs and sell some tickets based solely on nostalgia serve as a vocal leader and mentor to a young clubhouse.
The Twins weren’t expected to compete in 2015 no matter what happened in San Diego, but their lack of interest in adding any legitimate talent coupled with the vast improvement of others teams in the American League Central only solidifies the fact that the future in Minnesota – while very bright – is still a long ways off in the distance.