November 26, 2012
Monday, November 26
The Winter Meetings in Nashville are a week away, and the rumor mill is merely getting warmed up for the action ahead. Here are three of the biggest developments from the Thanksgiving weekend:
Joining Twins could enable Brett Myers to return to rotation
Manager Ron Gardenhire’s rotation currently consists of a number-one starter who struck out less than one batter every two innings during the second half of last season, a number-two starter with five quality starts in 20 major-league tries, and a number-three starter who, before 2012, was an undrafted minor-league veteran endearing mostly because he is a native Minnesotan and a former Golden Gopher. That is a glass-half-empty review of Scott Diamond, Liam Hendriks, and Cole De Vries—and Kyle Gibson, who ranked fifth on Jason Parks’ Top 10 list, should bolster the staff in the near future—but the Twins may have fewer reliable starting pitchers than any other team in the league.
In a chat with John Perrotto published last week, general manager Terry Ryan acknowledged both that improving the rotation is his top priority and that he lacks the financial resources to chase top free agents like Zack Greinke. Ryan noted that his greatest selling points to lower-tier pitchers are Target Field’s generous dimensions and pitching coach Rick Anderson’s track record, which he believes will entice affordable arms to come to Minnesota. The veteran GM is casting a wide net in his search for reinforcements—so wide, in fact, that it includes a pitcher who spent all of last year a reliever.
Myers was the Astros’ closer until mid-July, when Jeff Luhnow sent him to the White Sox, who used the righty as a set-up man for Addison Reed. The 32-year-old showed improved control out of the bullpen, cutting his walk rate from 6.2 percent to a career-best 5.5 percent from 2011 to 2012, but his strikeout mark also declined, down to 15.1 percent, his lowest since 2004. According to a report from Star Tribune beat writer Joe Christensen, Myers’ agent, Craig Landis, is shopping his client as both a starter and a reliever, and Target Field would offer Myers a friendly environment in which to attempt to rediscover his 3.3 WARP form from two years ago.