Making Sense of Maloney and Gray

I’m trying to figure out the logic behind the Twins’ waiver claims yesterday. On the surface, they appear to be real head-scratchers. What possible value could there be in castoffs from Cincinnati (Matt Maloney) and Seattle (Jeff Gray)?

The Twins’ scouts must see something in them. Wish I had more confidence in those scouts. Signings the past couple of years have not been real confidence builders.

Based on the Twins’ record in 2011, they are second in the waiver order and they also have the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft. That is good, but I’m wondering if they picked Maloney and Gray because they thought they would be claimed by one of the 28 teams that are below them in the waiver order. That is the only conclusion I can come to otherwise these guys would have been available as free agents and would not have been required to be placed on the 40-man roster.

Earlier this fall the Twins outrighted several players removing them from the 40-man roster so there is room right now, but filling slots with player of this caliber – basically replacement level – does not appear to make much sense.

Given that these guys are replacement level, maybe they are just that for the Twins. Two arbitration eligible Twins players who have often been cited as non-tender candidates – Slowey and Mijares – might have just been replaced. Non-tender announcements would confirm this speculation.

2011 for both Slowey and Mijares was a disaster year. Both may still have a future, but I think a change of scenery is going to be required for that to happen. My guess is neither one of them is going to attract trade offers and arbitration will provide raises beyond their value to any team.

That’s the best logic I can come up with to justify acquiring Maloney and Gray. Maybe someday we’ll hear more from the Twins’ front office on why they did this, but I’m not holding my breath. They have not been too open and transparent in the past and there is no reason to believe that will change any time soon.

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