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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 15, 2006

Twins - Signed Cirillo, Venafro, Harvey, Cali

Minnesota Twins - Signed 3B Jeff Cirillo to a 1-year contract; signed DL Ken Harvey, P Carmen Cali and P Mike Venafro to minor-league contracts.

Cirillo’s the significant signing here.  He’s a million years old now, but he may very well be the Twins best 3B option in 2007 if he can last the year.  It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Cirillo, the first and possibly only position player to go to Colorado and come out looking worse than when he went in.  In his prime, Cirillo combined creamy OBP goodness with a gold glove before it was cool.

The others are all good signings as long as they stay minor league contracts, especially the dangerous signing of Ken Harvey.  The Twins need DH help and, if you silhouette Harvey up for a Rorschach test, he certainly looks like a DH, if not one of Ronald McDonald’s cohort (ducking).  His performance though, looks like a minor leaguer and when you combine it with the fact that he’s got Cal Pickering Disease (the condition of being a big fat man who ruptures something new in one of his legs every time he jogs), he really needs to stay off the roster.  Even if he’s Former All-Star(tm) Ken Harvey.

Cali and Venafro, you should know, even if you’re someone who’s never heard of them.  For Cali, dial up MLB Cliche #46B, Future LOOGY Wannabe with Command/Control Issues and Venafro, #53A, Southpaw Batting Practice Pitcher Who Is Getting Jobs Because He’s Lefthanded and Had A Fluky Good ERA Some Time Ago.

2007 ZiPS Projections
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
Cirillo     195 26   56 12 0   2 18 15 27   1 .287 .344 .379
Harvey     275 24   68 11 1   6 29 15 64   1 .258 .305 .375


2007 ZiPS Projections
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
Cali     3   4 50   1   64   71   40   9 32 44 5.63  
Venafro   2   2 60   0   54   59   31   6 23 30 5.17

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:35 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: December 15, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2261873)
Quite bold.
   2. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2262167)
FYI, article title says 'Villone' rather than 'Venafro'.
   3. philistine Posted: December 15, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2262171)
Another quality piece. My compliments on a fine offseason, Dan.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: December 15, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#2262174)
DL Ken Harvey? Very clever? Or Freudian slip?
   5. Craig in MN Posted: December 15, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2262288)
Here's a fun game, called "How bad was the Twins offense last year?"

Would Cirillo's projected .723 OPS be better than the Twins cumulative 3rd basemen last year?
Would Harvey's projected .680 OPS be better than the Twins cumulative DHs last year?

Answers: Twins 3b last year had a .703 OPS, so Cirillo would be a slight upgrade. And the Twins DHs had a .680 OPS last year....we have a tie! Harvey projects to be just as bad of a DH as the Twins are used to. If you assume he wouldn't be taking Mauer's DH ABs, then Harvey is a slight upgrade over "the field" there as well. There you have it...Two slight upgrades toward mediocrity for almost no money.
   6. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 15, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2262292)
Wait... so the Twins did not sign Villone? I can't find anything about that on the greater Internets.
   7. danup Posted: December 15, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2262296)
I am so, so happy that Cali is gone. Lefty relievers with straight 92 mph fastballs and nothing else are the most dangerous commodity to have in baseball.
   8. Craig in MN Posted: December 15, 2006 at 05:25 PM (#2262316)
The Twins signed Venafro, not Villone.

If there is news of an actual Villone signing on the Internets, it's clogged up in one of the tubes somewhere.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2262616)
I just put Villone in the header instead of Venafro. They're similar, but Villone is #53B instead of #53A - Southpaw Batting Practice Pitcher Who Can Occasionally Start, With Unsexy Results, and Is Getting Jobs Because He's Lefthanded and Had A Fluky Good ERA Some Time Ago.

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