A Little Bit Country...

but not at all rock and roll...that's our prediction for what the Twins will do during this week's Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.

Every offseason, when there is precious little else to write about, I make prognostications/recommendations for what will/should happen when the Twins' brass heads down to whatever exotic locale has agreed to host the most powerful people in baseball for four days.

This year, there's a lot that could be done to improve the team; some would go so far as to say there's a lot that needs to be done. The only question is what actually will  be done, when TR and company head down to the home of the Grand Ol' Opry.

What will TR get done?
I have no idea of course, but that won't stop me from making bizarre guesses for my and (hopefully) your enjoyment.

Who will be the next
Jason Marquis?
1. The Twins sign a mediocre pitcher who makes fans go "Him?"
We all know the Twins need starters, but with the frequently frugal Ryan spending the parsimonious Pohlads' dollars in a market where any one with a few Ws on their stat sheet is guaranteed a cool million dollars a year, Zack Grienke isn't happening.

Sure there are dreams of Brandon McCarthy and Shawn Marcum, but it's far more likely that we'll be perusing the "Livan Hernandez Memorial Bargin Bin" so brace yourself for Jonathan Sanchez, Ching Ming Wang and (dare we dream?) Jeff Karstens.

2. Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau sit awkwardly beside their phones for several days
Now that Denard Span is shopping for apartments in Foggy Bottom, the two most prized commodities in the Twins' stockpile are the bopping big men. So, for Josh and Justin, it's time for several tense days updating "mlbtraderumors.com" and playing Angry Birds in space to pass the time.

Of course, we tend to have a slightly higher opinion of both player's abilities than the market will likely bear (I mean, how much can you really expect to get for a corner outfielder with limited defensive abilities, or a first baseman who's still coming back from a concussion.

3. After signing another aging middle infielder, the Twins replace their post game buffet with Perkins' early bird special coupons.
There's always someone who wants to make the Twins their last stop on the road to the retirement home: Tony Batista, Jose Offerman, Jamey Carroll, and without a set of high calibre prospects to replace them, there's always a demand.

Rather than begrudging this fact, let's celebrate it! If we're going to try appealing to Marco Scutaro or Placido Palanco we might as well sweeten the pot with Perkins' all day breakfast deals...after all, who wouldn't want a chicken fried steak right before a big game? And hey, if we can splurge on a box of Werther's originals and the right to do an Andy Rooney style rant in the 8th inning each night then we'll  have officially cornered the market.

4. Scott Boras mistakes Terry Ryan's polite conversation for interest in a mediocre player and uses it to procure a grossly over indulgent contract.
You're welcome, Scott
Every year there's one or two of Scott Boras' clients who bring up a "mystery team" in an effort to boost the bidding for their services. Whether or not these teams actually exist is irrelevant, all that matters is the money pit Boras gets to jump in for his troubles.

The Twins won't be so foolish as to actually hire a Boras client; but Ryan's unflagging Minnesota Nice demeanor and past experience with Kyle Loshe may well lead to a casual conversation in the hallway, which leads to intense rumor mongering between Boras and the Dodgers, which leads to a $60 Million dollar pay day for Loshe...the least Boras could do would be to pay for the almonds Ryan takes from his minibar.

5. A fat lot o' nothing happens.
The most likely situation of all: each year there's a tremendous amount of speculation in the days and weeks leading up to the winter meetings, and each year we end up pretty much where we were at the start of it...a little bored and none the wiser about who or what the coming year will hold.

Still! The conjecture is fun and the impending sense of doom being alleviated when we don't waste our money is even better!