Twins have decisions to make
Midseason pickups Cabrera, Mahay, Pavano free agents
MINNEAPOLIS -- It would be difficult to find a team in 2009 that was affected more positively by its late-season additions than the Twins.Twins general manager Bill Smith was one of the more active GMs in baseball toward the end of the summer, acquiring starting pitcher Carl Pavano, shortstop Orlando Cabrera and relievers Jon Rauch and Ron Mahay. And the Minnesota players didn't hesitate to credit the moves with playing a large part in their earning a fifth American League Central title in the past eight seasons. "I think if every one of those trades was not made, then we don't make it to the playoffs," Michael Cuddyer said. "Every single person played a role in getting us to where we needed to go. Kudos to the front office for making those moves because they were very much needed." But now that the Twins' improbable run in 2009 has come to an end following a 4-1 loss to the Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Sunday, thoughts have turned to next season. And it's unclear just how many of those newcomers who contributed down the stretch will be back. Of the four players brought to Minnesota through summer deals, only Rauch is signed through 2010. Pavano, Cabrera and Mahay are all set to be free agents, as well as two players who were with the Twins all season -- third baseman Joe Crede and catcher Mike Redmond. Nearly all of the impending free agents for the Twins have expressed a desire to return, although it's still unclear which ones might fit into the club's plans. "It takes two to tango, but I enjoyed my time here. I'm not going to deny it," Pavano said after his Game 3 start. "I enjoyed my teammates. Will this team be a force next year? Without a doubt."
|"I've said it time and time again, he's been the unsung hero of this team."|
-- Michael Cuddyer,|
on Mike Redmond
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.