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Twins Target - A Minnesota Twins blog | Page 29
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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 03 November 2009

Coveted second baseman Akinori Iwamura has been near the top of Minnesota's wishlist for some time, and it appears that a trade may be in the works.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Bay Rays are close to dealing their 30-year-old infielder. The source doesn't know where the deal would land Iwamura, but he claims that the receiving team will not be the  Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs.

Earlier today, the Twins removed third baseman Brian Buscher from their 40-man roster, leaving an opening.

Be sure to stick around here, and I'll be on top of all the developments!

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UPDATE – 3:30 p.m.

Game over. It appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be the recipients of Iwamura.

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 30 October 2009

Things have been busy lately, and my "day job"* has required me to be keep up with the World Series and attend volleyball games, so I haven't had the chance to chat about the Twins as much as I'd like. Soon enough I'll have some more offseason speculation and predictions for you to read.

* It doesn't sound right for a kid my age to have a "day job," but whatever.

For now, though, here are links to some of the stuff I read on a daily basis. Be sure to check them out and subscribe!

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 28 October 2009

Our parent network, Bloguin, is celebrating its one-year anniversary! As a part of that, they're rolling out the 2009 Bloguin Awards, which recognizes the biggest and brightest of the 100 blogs currently hosted by Bloguin.

While TwinsTarget is relatively new on the Bloguin scene, we've been nominated in the Best Banner category. Click here to vote for us, and be sure to spread the word!

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 24 October 2009

Despite playing just over half of the season, Joe Crede managed to be Minnesota's second most-valuable infielder. That's obviously not saying much—considering how Matt Tolbert and Alexi Casilla combined for 454 plate appearances this season—but for a guy who appeared to be his own voodoo doll, it's quite the accomplishment.

Crede spent just under half the season on the disabled list. Recovery from back surgery, a strain in his lower back, a right shoulder irritation, a bruised left knee, an injured right hand, and a sore hamstring should all be flashing, neon signs to stay away from this injury-prone 31-year-old, right?

Wrong. Like it or not, an injury-prone third baseman may be exactly what the Twins need in 2010.

Click here to read more.

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 20 October 2009

Most fans are already considering this upcoming offseason as the most exciting in Twins' history. Premature though that may be, there is every reason to believe that Minnesota could be among the most active teams this winter for one main reason: Target Field.

The new stadium is expected to drastically raise the annual payroll of the team, perhaps even removing the label of "lowest spending team in the AL Central." With more money at their disposal, the efficient Twins will add more wins to their team.

Then again, maybe the assumed revenue increase won't play as big a role as fans would like.

Here is an early look at the players who have guaranteed contracts for 2010:

Click here to read the rest!

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 19 October 2009

Twins Centric

Not every fanbase can claim a blogosphere with as high quality journalism as the Minnesota Twins boast. It's no secret that there are some very bright minds on the other side of your computer monitor. When they speak, we all generally listen.

When four speak, we know to expect top-notch content. John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Parker Hageman, and Nick Nelson don't disappoint.

TwinsCentric is, to the best of my knowledge, the first of its kind. Geared entirely towards the fans, these four brilliant bloggers joined forces to produce a book that instantly becomes a must-read for Twins' fans of all kinds.

From the book:

"It's the quintessential meme of sports fans everywhere: I could do that guy's job. In an age where information and statistics are abundantly available to just about everyone, second-guessing of managers and front office personal has become second-nature for most avid baseball followers. Well, now it's time to put your money where your mouth is: consider yourself hired."

Why are you still here? Be off now; go buy the book and support four of the best Twins' bloggers in the biz! Even if you can't afford the $10, there is a free download of 1/3 of the book at TwinsCentric.com.

 

(Boring, and probably unnecessary legal drivel: The FTC released an update to their "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising" for the first time since 1980. Included in the update is an ominous threat to "bloggers" who do not disclose whether or not they are being paid to write a review. I wasn't "paid," per say, but John did give me a free copy of the book to review. I obviously would have bought the book if I didn't already have a copy. You probably didn't need to know that -- (if I find the FTC is reading this blog, I don't know if I'd be stoked or upset) -- but I really don't want to be fined $11,000. Just covering my bases.)

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Written by Andrew Kneeland | 16 October 2009

Winning the division and going to the postseason is not a treat awarded every team. Many would agree that the Twins enjoyed a respectable 2009 campaign, despite it being a roller coaster of emotion. Fans survived the low moments, and enjoyed the high points.

Mishandling the re-signing of Joe Mauer, however, could derail the roller coaster for years to come.

Coming off perhaps the best offensive season by a catcher in the history of baseball, Mauer has all the contract leverage in the world. He is currently signed through 2010, but re-signing him to a long deal as soon as possible is obviously desirable.

On the free agent market, a player typically earns anywhere from $4 to $5 million per Win Above Replacement (WAR) annually. Considering various stints on the disabled list throughout Mauer's short career, he has amassed 27.9 WAR through about 4.3 seasons, which breaks down to about 6.48 WAR per full season. On the open market, Mauer could get roughly $30 million a year. That's just about the yearly payroll of the Florida Marlins.

And that's the last you will hear me talk of Mauer on the free agent market, as it cannot happen. Baseball would never be the same if there were a bidding war for the rights to a 26-year old catcher with Mauer's resume. Just about every head would roll in the Twins' organization if Mauer were allowed to walk.

Besides, if Mauer were gone, Twins' fans would burn the publicly-funded Target Field to the ground.

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