From the Twins’ official Twitter feed comes word that the club has traded catcher Jose Morales to the Rockies for young left-hander Paul Bargas.
Morales, 27, hit .194/.295/.250 with zero home runs, two doubles and seven RBI over 36 at-bats in 2010 for the Twins. He will serve as a rarely-used backup in Colorado behind Chris Iannetta, who is finally getting a chance at real playing time.
Iannetta had 16 homers in 289 at-bats for the Rockies in 2009 and 18 homers with an 895 OPS back in 2008. When given everyday looks, he has produced. Now it’s time for him to produce over the course of an entire season.
Bargas was selected by Colorado in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. He hasn’t climbed out of Single-A, but the 22-year-old posted a solid 3.59 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 67.2 innings this past year in the South Atlantic League and may have a future as a big league setup man if he continues to flash good numbers down on the farm.
The Twins appear comfortable with Drew Butera serving as Joe Mauer’s primary backup in 2011.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.