Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — After seeing the Houston Astros go from averaging 108 losses for three straight seasons to the postseason in 2015, Jason Castro believes a quick turnaround is possible at his new workplace as well. "I think having gone through that, it gives me a little bit of a unique perspective," the Twins' new catcher said Wednesday on a media teleconference. "I see (the Twins) as being definitely ahead of where the Astros were a few years back when we were in the middle of the rebuild. I'm definitely excited about the group we have here and the possibilities."
ST. PAUL — Seeking a significant upgrade at a vital defensive position, the Twins have agreed to sign veteran catcher Jason Castro to a three-year contract. The deal, confirmed by two people with direct knowledge, will guarantee the 29-year-old $24.5 million through the 2019 season. A former first-round draft pick out of Stanford, Castro broke in with the Houston Astros in 2010 and overcame a torn ACL in his right knee the following season.
MINNEAPOLIS—Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, a member of the Minnesota Twins organization since they drafted him in the first round out of high school in 2004, cleared outright waivers on Friday and elected to become a free agent. Projected to earn $8.2 million in 2017, his final year of salary arbitration, Plouffe failed to draw trade interest but figures to attract plenty of suitors on the open market because of his experience, power and defensive versatility.
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Even now, seven weeks after the fact, there is disbelief. Jose Fernandez's death in an early-morning boating accident in late September rocked all of major league baseball, but the pain was especially acute for the Gordon family. Twins shortstop prospect Nick Gordon had come to know the late Miami Marlins pitcher through older brother Dee Gordon, the Marlins' second baseman.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Tom Brunansky's rise through the coaching ranks with the organization he helped win a World Series three decades ago coincided almost directly with the unlikely climb of Brian Dozier. The level of trust and communication between those two only increased as the diminutive Dozier reinvented himself as a power hitter in 2013, Brunansky's first year coaching hitters at the major-league level for the Twins, and later enabled the duo to salvage a lost season for Dozier in May 2016, launching the second baseman toward a 42-homer explosion.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Twins on Monday announced they have hired Derek Falvey as Executive Vice President, Chief Baseball Officer. He will join the Twins at the conclusion of the Cleveland Indians' season, the team said. Falvey, 33, has spent the last nine seasons as a member of the Indians organization, most recently as assistant general manager. He spent the previous four seasons as director of baseball operations.
MINNEAPOLIS—Derek Falvey, assistant general manager for the Cleveland Indians, will be hired to oversee the Twins' baseball operations department, according to an ESPN report. However, according to a person with direct knowledge, as of Monday morning the selection process was "still ongoing."
MINNEAPOLIS—It has been quite the revolving door for the Twins at shortstop over the past dozen years. Since Cristian Guzman bolted via free agency for the Washington Nationals after six straight Opening Day starts in Minnesota from 1999-2004, 10 men have enjoyed that responsibility.
MINNEAPOLIS—Twins manager Paul Molitor hopes to get Joe Mauer, who has a sore quadriceps, back in the lineup for Friday's game in Toronto, where the all-dirt infield should lessen some of the traditional strain on the first baseman's back and legs. But the Twins won't rush things after Mauer aggravated his condition scoring from first on a double last week in Atlanta. "It's lingering a bit," Molitor said. "I think it was actually maybe a little more problematic than he was leading on in terms of trying to find a way to play through something."
MINNEAPOLIS—Twins manager Paul Molitor turns 60 on Monday. Can you believe it? "No," says Carol Rolland, second-oldest of the eight children born to Dick and Kathleen Molitor. "It's hard for all of us to believe. I just kind of welcomed him into the world of being 60, which is kind of scary." What about younger sister Judy Gergen, four years Molitor's junior? "It's surreal," she says. "That means the rest of us are past 60 or close."