The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Baseball Blog

March 31, 2009

Morales in, Mijares out, Sheffield available

I'll lead with the Twins news, being a Twins fan and all:



The Twins chose Jose Morales over Drew Butera to be the temporary No. 2 catcher and shipped September lightning flash Jose Mijares to Triple A.



When it became obvious that Joe Mauer wasn't going to be on the Opening Day roster, the conventional wisdom had Butera making the leap over Morales for the job. Morales is a hitter and a raw defensive catcher; Butera is a good receiver and a weak hitter. Combine their strengths, and you probably have a better catcher than Mike Redmond. Apparently the Twins decided that they have live with Morales' defense.



Or maybe ... Wilson Ramos is due to be in Double A this year, and neither Morales nor Butera is going to be an impediment to his progress. Once Mauer returns, Morales goes back to Triple A, where Butera awaits. Or somebody gets traded. If Morales does well, it might be him.



Mijares — well, this was coming. He needs to get straightened out, both for his sake and that of the Twins. The bullpen would look a lot better with him in late relief.



So now it's Phil Humber, Brian Duesning and R.A. Dickey for one or two bullpen spots. Or, to look at it another way, there are two roster spots left, with those three pitchers and Matt Tolbert up for them. My guess remains Humber and Duesning.



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The Detroit Tigers will pay Gary Sheffield $14 million not to play for them this year. It's sort of like GM paying Rick Wagoner $23 million not to be its CEO, with the difference being that there's no guarantee there'll be a GM for Wagoner to collect from, but that's a different Detroit story.



The Tigers on Monday traded for a reserve outfielder who can run

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