Everything's Bigger in Texas

Especially the bargains!!

Yes, it's time for our annual Winter Meeting's preview post, in which we highlight what we expect to see happen during the annual three day rumor-a-thon in one of the nation's finest Hilton Hotels. For this first time we're going to see blog about the way business is done under Terry Ryan rather than would-be-Rico--Suave Pick-Up Artist/GM Bill Smith.

Thus far, the current offseason has confirmed my old sense that Terry Ryan shops for major league talent in much the same way that my grandmother shops for furniture at IKEA. See, our peanuty grandma has two golden rules when it comes to shopping: first, it has to be practical, and second it has to be "terribly on sale" to justify the expense (no matter how small). So, naturally grandma loves IKEA, get in, go directly to the section you need, pick the best option at the best price and get out; no dithering over the upholstery, no hemming and hawing over which would fit best: get the one you need, get it cheap, get out.

C'mon Target Field, make this happen
Terry Ryan operates the same way. Sure you really need that short stop to tie the middle infield together, but don't go ogling the ruby-encrusted ottoman that is Jose Reyes, Jamey Carroll will do just fine, thank you very much! The Yankees might dither over whether to get a mahogany or Brazilian teak back-up backstop; the Twins get a Doumit and have enough change left over to treat the whole family to Swedish meatballs.

Terry's very disappointed
that you've been so mean to
Matt Capps
So expect much the same this week as the front office heads to Dallas for the Winter Meetings. Other teams will be debating just how fancy to get in their wheelings and dealings, and Terry Ryan will keep on doing what he does best: staying practical and finding deals. So with that in mind, and in the spirit of the Lone Star State's lone star, here's our 5 point prediction for Uncle Terry's Bargain Hunting in Big D.

#1---Sign Matt Capps to be closer for 1 year for $1.5 million and 2 body guards
Bill Smith fell victim to last year's big fad in bullpen decorating: hard-throwing, somewhat-erratic, right handers. Terry Ryan does not like fads and without the time to snooker the San Francisco Giants into giving us another Joe Nathan, so Uncle Terry says: "we'll make do with the budget option and public opinion be damned; you fans were raised better than that...shape up or ship out."

#2--Have Tony Oliva bring Yoenis Cespedes a sandwich
Cespedes is the real deal, a five-tool outfield star who figures to command major dollars just as soon as baseball finds a way to make him legally employable. There hasn't been a Hall of Fame calibre Cuban  since Tony O and there hasn't been a Cuban MVP since Zoilo Versailles, we've got some history here. Sure Cespedes could rely on his natural talent and a big budget team around him to make him great...but if he comes to Minnesota there will be sandwiches, and of course...Tony O. (Sure it won't work, but it's a low cost, high reward way of trying to make something happen.)

#3--Try to Trade Kevin Slowey
We like Kevin Slowey, he's a gentleman and a scholar, he's funny enough to appear on the Onion, we were even trying to popularize nicknames like "SloSlo" or "Killthrow" or "KZone". But the writing's been on the wall for months now. He's also not going to be rejoining the rotation any time soon and doesn't want to go to the bullpen, so unless he starts playing third base like a champion, his days in the blue and red are numbered. The sad part is, he doesn't have much trade value, so at best he could be the "Brendan Harris" of this year's "what-the-hell-give-us-some-prospects-and-we're happy" trade. Fortunately Terry Ryan's track record with tose kinds of trades is pretty good, so fingers crossed!

Bob Dylan's all over this thing Cuddy 
#4--Send Michael Cuddyer a Mix-Tape
All our favorite jams can be on it! Like Green Day's "Time of Your Life" and one of Joe Mauer's rap tracks. We could include personal appeals from local-inspired artists like Doomtree and the Hold Steady. Then he'll realize that he's always really loved us and stop listening to the Red Sox nattering about "Sweet Caroline", and sign a three-year deal for a local discount and the promise that he can replace Bert Blyleven after he retires.

#5--Twiddle your thumbs
Every year we get riled up about the big moves coming during the winter meetings, and every year very little actually happens. This year will likely be no different. Sure some big name free agents might sign with other teams, but the Twins news will likely be confined to one of those four story lines. But rest assured, Uncle Terry's still looking for a deal, patience is a virtue friends...trust the man, just like I trust my grandma.

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