By La Velle
I touched on this in my story for Monday’s ink-on-paper editions.
A new wrinkle has come up that could make it easier for the Twins acquire someone like righthander Juan Cruz, who’s considered one of the best set up men of the free agent class – and someone the Twins have talked about internally.
Cruz, 30, was 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA last season for Arizona and has struck out 535 batters in 515 career innings – although he’s been known to walk a couple more batters than he should. Cruz also is a Type A free agent, which means any team that signs him would have to give up their first-round pick in the June draft – and the Twins aren’t willing to do that.
There have been rumblings that Major League Baseball, which is aware that Type A free agents like Cruz and infielders Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera have been hindered by the compensation rules, are willing to make it easier for teams to sign then trade those free agents. For example. Arizona could sign Cruz to a contract that the Twins are willing to take on. The Twins and Diamondbacks would then work out a trade for Cruz. The Twins could land Cruz without losing a draft pick.
“I have heard the rumor,’’ Twins GM Bill Smith said about the sign-and-trade possibility. “I It’shave not received anything official from Major League Baseball.’’
I’ll repeat that a couple hoops would have be to jumped through for the Twins to pull off a transaction for Cruz. But if a sign-and-trade possibility exists, there’s no reason why the Twins can’t at least have a talk with the D-Backs about Cruz.