Let us face the sad reality: As long as Terry Ryan is General Manager, the Twins won’t win the World Series. After the Twins made the signing of Byung Ho Park official on December 1, the front office has made a couple fundamental flaws. These flaws ironically came to light when teams are supposed to be wheeling and dealing at the Winter Meetings this past week to improve. We saw several top free agents removed from the board as they signed with teams, while Ryan twiddled his thumbs and did nothing in Nashville. Ryan has a bizarre routine at the Winter Meetings that could and probably should cost him his job.
- Right after the season concluded, the Pohlad family told Ryan to spend large amounts of money to improve the Twins. Instead, Ryan is spending as little as possible to try to sign good players. For example, he only gave Park, who has over 100 home runs in the last two years, $3 million per year. Some analysts believe that Park could have received a lot more money if another club would have won the bidding. General Managers across MLB found ways to sign players who make an impact to modest deals, but Ryan was just unwilling to strike a deal. It is time for the Pohlads to get serious with him and demand he tries harder to sign more prevalent players. It’s just mind-boggling that other General Managers can sign All-Stars with big bucks and that Ryan doesn’t even try!
- Ryan was looking to trade struggling Ricky Nolasco during the meetings, but then made the abrupt decision to keep him after all. After talking with clubs, Ryan didn’t trade him because he did not want to sell low. How low can he get? Oft-injured Nolasco, who is 11-14 with a 5.64 ERA the past 2 years, has only made 35 starts with the Twins. Ryan could easily trade him for a minor league player. To not help Ryan’s cause, he said that Nolasco will come to Spring Training next year “competing” for a starter’s role. If you read that correctly, we may see a $12 million pitcher, who has said he does not want to be in Minnesota, come out of the bullpen. Good grief – you got to be kidding me!
- Before the meetings were held, Ryan announced that they are moving power hitter Miguel Sano to the outfield. People are worried about Sano’s transition due to his stature and his ability to run down balls. The Twins have different players that could fill the vacancy: Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe, and actual outfielders Max Kepler or Adam Brett Walker. Instead Ryan went with the least likely person to do well roaming the field. Everybody sees the easy solution that Ryan still hasn’t figured out: Trade Plouffe to get a maximum return, put Sano at third, and put an actual outfielder in the outfield. Or more simple: Don’t trade your hottest hitting outfielder for an unknown catcher in John Ryan Murphy. Ryan said Murphy, who has minimal experience, is the real deal, but then claims another catcher from Seattle named John Hicks. Please someone, help me find anything good with these moves!
Clearly, the Pohlads and Ryan are not on the same page regarding signing players and that has to stop. Either they need to have a hard and deep talk about their differences or the Pohlads need too find the guts to send the 62-year-old on his way to retirement. Like Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com said this week on Twitter: “Ryan is hesitant given the volatility of relievers from year-to-year. Multi-year relief deals rarely pan out.”
Written by: Michael L. Sack