terry ryan… genius?

terry ryan gets a lot of good press in this town for his abilities as twins g.m. and, for the most part, it\’s deserved. johan santana for jared camp. liriano, bonser, and nathan for a.j. pierzynski. drafting joe mauer over prior. i\’m not going to nick him for releasing david ortiz; anyone who says that was a bad move isn\’t remembering biggie\’s propensity to injure himself from 1997 to 2002. anyway, he\’s made some great moves.

however, he\’s also made some pretty questionable ones, and ones that you can\’t blame on the tight payroll. the first one would be last year\’s decision to start the season with aging, sluggish, poor-fielding tony batista and the decent-fielding yet no-hit, aging juan castro on the right side of the infield. It took until june for the team to realize that experiment had failed, shipping castro to the reds and batista to the fat farm and replacing them with jason bartlett and nick punto, respectively– the players that should have started the season at those positions. the twins obviously recovered, winning the division.

then yesterday\’s decision to break camp with carlos silva in the rotation, and sending matt garza to rochester. despite silva\’s godawful 2006 and godawfuler spring, i understand why the team made the decision: they committed $4.3 M to him, and you don\’t guarantee that much money to a guy and then send him to triple-A before the season starts. so i get that. but then… why did ryan (a smart guy) and the twins (with their supposed tight purse strings) to a guy who went 11-15 last year and had an ERA of nearly 6.00? could that money have been better spent on another free agent like kip wells, joel piniero, or tony armas? not thrilling names, to be sure, but i\’d be just as confident rolling out every fifth day with one of them as i am with silva, and they all came cheaper than $4.3 M.

ryan is loved by the media because he\’s accessible and he gives the straight story. however, that shouldn\’t guarantee him a free pass when he does the occasional boneheaded move. you heard it here first: silva will be in the minors by may day.







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