January 18, 2008

Three New Deals

The Twins have agreed to terms with three players for the 2008 season. The players include Jason Kubel, Juan Rincon and former MVP Justin Morneau. With the signing of these three players, the Twins now have two players remaining -- Matt Guerrier and Michael Cuddyer.

Jason Kubel's deal was announced last night. The contract will pay him $1.3 million in this upcoming season along with another $25,000 depending on his plate appearances. Kubel hit 13 homeruns last season and drove in 63 runners. If he keeps up his late season streak, Kubel could turn in to a pretty good designated hitter in the 2008 season.

Juan Rincon had a pretty poor season in 2007, and pitched so poorly that he lost his setup role to Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek. His deal for the 2008 season will pay him $2.475 million. His name was mentioned in trade talks earlier this off-season, but he remained a Twin after questions arose about his health. He has pitched well so far in the Winter Leagues.

The final player that the Twins have agreed to terms with is left-handed slugger Justin Morneau. Morneau won the MVP award in 2006, and agreed to a $4.5 million deal last off-season to avoid arbitration. With another stellar 30 HR, 100 RBI season, Morneau's stock rose. The agreement will pay him a hefty $7.4 million this upcoming year. In addition to this, when all of the Santana stuff goes away, the Twins will most likely be looking to extend that deal to four, five or possibly even six seasons.

The Twins are expected to exchange numbers with Guerrier and Cuddyer later today, and when that happens we'll see how close the sides are. Last season, the Twins agreed to terms with Cuddyer at the very last minute.