The Twins have signed two pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. This is unusual behavior for them.
Just as importantly, they are working on a deal to bring A. J. Pierzynski back to catch. With Joe Mauer moving to first base, the 37-year-old Pierzynski would fill a big hole.
The catcher is the most important defensive player on the diamond. An experienced catcher can squeeze a little extra out of a shaky pitching staff.
Pierzynski is a pest. He has a bad-boy attitude. He is one of the most hated players in baseball today. That might make him an ideal addition to the sleepy Twins. Joe Mauer is a great hitter, but he's not exactly a ball of fire as a team leader. Morneau was of the same mold. A little sleepy. But Pierzynski chews nails for breakfast.
At bat, Pierzynski fouls off pitch after pitch before dumping a looper to left field, sometimes for a double. Makes you mad, unless he's on your team.
Gardenhire has experience working with Pierzynski. They may be able to work together like two grown men, who knows.
As for the pitching staff, the latest additions aren't exactly going to set the world on fire. Nolasco and Hughes have spotty records. But adding arms can at least increase the odds that the Twins will find a starting staff that gets the job done. They still need an ace, and the best hope now comes from within the Twins system: Alex Meyer has the potential to become a #1 starter. You can never count on that, though. A great arm, which Meyer has, is no guarantee that one has major league mettle.
In any case, it is good to see the Twins make a little news in December.