January 26, 2008

Look who's sticking around, TwinsFest

Hey everyone. I got a little side-tracked yesterday and didn't get to follow up on the post of both Michael Cuddyer & Justin Morneau agreeing to long-term deals. My apologies.

First, Morneau signed a 6-year $80 million deal. It'll ultimately take him 3 years past free agency and will make him 33 when the deal is complete. He'll still make $7.4 million this season (which he agreed to a deal last week to avoid arbitration), $10.6 million in '09, and $14 million from '10-'13.

Morneau's deal is the largest in Twins history.

Second, Cuddyer's deal is worth $24 million over 3 years. He also has a $10.5 million club option for 2011. He's set to make $5 million in 2008, $6.75 million for 2009 and $8.5 million for 2010.

Twins fans have to feel happy about these signings. Neither players salaries will hold the Twins down, financially, and it's going to be nice to see both signed when the new stadium opens up. The signings came as a shock to everyone as they were very quite and nobody knew of them until they were completed. And everyone expected the team to wait until after they made their decision on what they intend to do with Johan Santana. The generally feeling is that this is most likely a sign the Twins will not re-sign their two-time Cy Young winner, but you never know. I'm surprised to see Morneau get $80 million, not that he's not worth it, but I'm surprised to see the Twins sign a player to a deal like that (both in length, and amount), so perhaps Twins owner Carl Pohlad has given the Twins the green light on re-signing current players? Probably not. Most people expected both of these two to be signed to long-term deals, it's just surprising it was done before the club made a decision on Santana. But I would like to think that the Twins could and may re-sign Santana, even if it is a slim chance. Joe Nathan also is looking for a long-term deal, and I'd be thrilled to see both of them signed as well, however that's an extremely slim chance.

I got an opportunity to check out TwinsFest last night. I got many autographs, mainly the minor league players, though. However I did get Delmon Young's and Cuddyer's and found out that Young will likely be wearing #21 for all of those out there who's thinking of getting a jersey of one of the newest Twins.

I went down to the prospects booth and got a chance to chat with Seth Stohs of SethSpeaks.net a bit. He was also getting graphs of the MiLB players.

I got a chance to talk to both Denard Span and Jeff Manship a bit (both did Q&A's for the site previously, so make sure to check them out on the left side of the page). Span's really a great guy and I really have big hopes for him this year. I know many fans out there have lost hope in him, but I haven't yet and I hope he gets a fair shot to claim center field in Spring Training. Manship's also a great guy and I'm happy I got a chance to talk to him as well. Trevor Plouffe & Joe Benson were joking around a lot and making Twins fans feel really comfortable. Really all the prospects were pretty cool guys and I'm glad to get all of their autographs.

I also got a chance to meet Bill Smith and no, I did not even both to ask him about anything with Johan Santana (didn't feel like getting the "I can't comment on that right now" reply), but he's really excited about the new stadium. And honestly, I wasn't as impressed with all the photos of the stadium as I was when I saw the 3-D model and the presentation done on a big screen down on the field. I'm definitely even more excited to get this thing built than I was before. (And yes, I was impressed with it before, but that feeling definitely was nothing as how I feel about it now)

All in all, it was a pretty good day for both me and the Twins.