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Twins interested in being home to Rich Harden’s comeback

Dec 20, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

harden oakland ap wide AP

A few weeks ago Rich Harden announced that he was attempting a comeback after not playing in 2012 and now we know at least one team is interested in the oft-injured right-hander.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins “have been in contact” with Harden’s agent and adds that “this one is heating up pretty quickly.”

Well, at least as quickly as someone almost surely signing a minor-league deal can heat up.

Harden hasn’t had an ERA below 5.00 since 2009 and even when pitching well he never stayed healthy, but if the price is low enough he’s not a bad flier at age 31. I’ve always wondered why, after so many injuries, Harden didn’t shift to the bullpen full time, but presumably the rotation-starved Twins would be looking at him as a starter.

  1. crispybasil - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    We’re all laughing now, but just wait until the Twins win 100 games because of strong starting pitching.

    • albertmn - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      You are right. I am laughing now, from your comment. And, I’m a Twins fan. If nothing else, the Twins are giving themselves a lot of options for the rotation. Hopefully, at least 2-3 work out to go along with Diamond and maybe one or two young guys.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      It may take more than one season to win those 100 games, but I will congratulate them when they do so. Cheers!

  2. rgledz - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Throwing things at the wall and hoping they stick…..that’s the Twins way! I’m a lifelong Twins fan and this act is getting tired. You have the new stadium and the richest owners in baseball, yet all they do to solve their pitching issues is give every washed up pitcher a “comeback attempt”. Ridiculous.

    • zzalapski - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:54 AM

      Because the Pohlads, as team owners, are pretty much all about putting as much money into their own pockets as possible. Fielding a competitive team is only incidental to that goal. Would that more people realized that when they were shilling for public funds for Target Field.

    • dan1111 - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:34 AM

      In their defense, the Twins aren’t particularly close to being a playoff team right now. The level of spending it would take to transform them into a playoff team is probably beyond what one could reasonably expect of them (look at how much money Greinke got, and it would take more than one pitcher of that caliber to make them competitive).

      Maybe the Twins are cheap, but regardless of that, now is not the time to spend money, as it would only produce mediocrity. Their recent history suggests both that they are committed to winning and that their current leadership is competent to do so.

      • zzalapski - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        Playoff teams with a lower payroll than the Twins in 2012 ($94M):
        Braves ($83M)
        Reds ($82M)
        Orioles ($81M)
        Nationals ($81M)
        A’s ($55M)
        In addition, the Rays ($64M, 90 wins) probably would’ve made the playoffs if they were in the AL Central.

        For years, Twins apologists have been saying that a new stadium is necessary for them to spend money and be competitive. Well, what are they going to say now?

        Money helps, there’s no denying that, but it’s another thing to spend it wisely. The recent history suggests that the current leadership should be committed to some place far away from baseball operations in favor of people who are actually dedicated to and competent in putting a worthwhile product out on the field.

      • dan1111 - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Terry Ryan returned as GM of the Twins about a year ago. He assembled the core of the team that went to the playoffs six times between 2002 and 2010.

        Your comments would be appropriate to the previous management, though.

  3. joeyashwi - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    rgledz- Couldn’t agree more. Since they got their stadium they have allowed all their talent to leave and haven’t signed anybody! They can’t even get 162 combined games out of their two best and highest paid players.
    They are looking for pitching? Funny because every time they actually find a diamond in the rough they let him leave anyway. And as for looking at proven winners???? Forget about it. Much too expensive. It’s beyond old at this point.

  4. mrenthusiasm8 - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    This guy is Joel Zumaya without the durability. Good grief.

  5. vanindeed - Dec 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    How many “fliers” does this guy have left?

  6. rgledz - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    @dan1111……I think my point is that the reason the Twins aren’t a playoff contender is because of the fact that they don’t ever spend money…..hence my frustration. If they sign top players, preferably pitching, in the past few seasons maybe things are different. Fans that continue to accept your logic will only perpetuate what the Pohlads are doing. If fans like you keep making excuses for them then why change…..right?

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