Saturday, November 3, 2012

A waiver wire Friday

Alexi Casilla never took command of a regular job
with the Twins despite plenty of opportunities.
The Minnesota Twins had a busy Friday on the waiver wire.

Going: INF Alexi Casilla
Coming: RHP Josh Roenicke, INF Thomas Field
Uncertain: RHP Sam Deduno

Waiver transactions are almost always fringe-of-the-roster moves, but there are a couple of familiar names involved in these moves.

Most prominent, of course, is Casilla, who was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. It was widely assumed last summer that the Twins would nontender Casilla, who never took control of a regular job despite a multitude of opportunities. It wouldn't surprise me if the O's wind up nontendering him themselves; he figures to get more through arbitration than a reserve infielder ought to get.

The Twins also outrighted Deduno, who spent most of the second half in the starting rotation. He can opt for free agency, but the early word was that he and his agent were leaning toward accepting a minor-league contract with Minnesota, as P.J. Walters did a few days after he was outrighted. I can't see that he can expect a major-league contract from anybody else.

Sam Deduno has a
decision to make: Stay
with the Twins on a
minor-league deal,
or try to land a job
elsewhere?
The additions both come from Colorado, one of the few teams with a worse 2012 record than the Twins.

Roenicke is a 30-year-old middle reliever who had a 3.25 ERA in 88.2 innings for the Rockies. That's good in any environment, but particularly in Coors Field. He also had 54 strikeouts and 43 walks, which is not good. The Rox apparently waived him for much the same reason the Twins waived Casilla: They didn't want to pay him at the arbitration rate.

Roenicke is said to have a good fastball. Off his numbers, I'm inclined to lump him into the same category as Jeff Gray and Alex Burnett — not enough missed bats to make up for his lack of command.

Roenicke does have interesting bloodlines: He is the son of former major league outfielder Gary Roenicke, the nephew of current Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, and the brother-in-law of Ian Desmond, the shortstop of the Washington Nationals.

Thomas Field — he'd better field, because there's little reason to believe that he can hit.  Oh, some of his minor league numbers at lower levels look pretty good, but the Rockies' farm system is pretty much all in hitters parks. He's a shortstop who'll turn 26 before the season starts.

I expect the Twins to try to get him through waivers to get him off the 40-man roster so they can assign him to Rochester and have him for the Triple A lineup — much as they did last winter with Pedro Florimon.

The Twins, as of Friday evening, had 35 players on their 40-man roster; that will shrink some more after midnight, when Carl Pavano and, I believe, Scott Baker and Matt Capps officially become free agents. (Saturday morning addendum: As of this morning, the Twins website had removed Pavano and Capps from the roster but Baker was still listed.)

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