Actually, it’s a plan B, C, and D, I think. Jerry Crasnick says that if the Twins don’t get Jim Thome, they’ll either go after Troy Glaus, Jorge Cantu or just buy some bullpen depth.
Glaus wouldn’t bring what Thome brought to the table in terms of mashing right-handers — he’s a righty after all. Cantu can’t mash anyone, really, though he at least has a tad more defensive flexibility than Glaus does (i.e. it won’t be a national news story if he plays some third base like it was when Glaus did in the playoffs). This is all couched in a “coulds” and “mights,” though, so it’s not like they’re real targets.
Gleeman could speak about this way more intelligently than I could, but I’m getting the sense that Twins fans are kind of bummed by how this offseason has gone. If Cantu and Glaus become targets, I don’t think that perception changes.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.