Minnesota Twins Are Finally Using Free Agency to Give Their Fans a Merry Christmas

Signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes Along With Swirling Rumors at the Winter Meetings Prove the Twins Are Getting Serious About Fixing Their Rotation

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Free agency is like Christmas for some Major League Baseball cities.

Every year, there comes without a doubt that a Boston Red Sox fan will wake up and go, "Oh, wow! We signed Mike Napoli!" Or a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fan will say, "Look, it's an Albert Pujols! But, next year, I'll ask for some pitching!"

It's an exciting time for them. For Minnesota Twins fans, it's the equivalent of getting a lump of coal.

For a majority of the Terry Ryan era, there haven't been many Nintendo 64s as there have been ugly Rudolph sweaters. That's led to reactions more along the lines of, "Oh, Sidney Ponson? Uh, thanks Grandpa."

But this year, Grandpa just won the jackpot at the casino and he's going all out with his Christmas presents in order to save a rotation that posted a Grinch-like 5.26 earned run average in 2013.

The sticker shock began when the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco to a four-year, $49 million contract that was the richest for an outside free-agent in franchise history. Then, they put a bow on Phil Hughes with a three-year, $24 million contract.

Obviously, Grandpa had exhausted his funds, right? Not exactly.

At this week's Winter Meetings, the Twins have been linked to names such as Bronson Arroyo (via Hardball Talk), Bartolo Colon (via Jon Heyman on Twitter), Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza (via Minneapolis Star-Tribune) in an effort to add one more quality arm to a rotation that desperately needed it.

With one more signing, Twins fans won't wake up on Christmas morning to a broken Mike Pelfrey (although the team is pursuing a reunion), but instead they'll get that PlayStation 4 they thought they had no chance of getting.

Whether it's because Ryan's heart grew three sizes one day or he just got sick of the standing ovations his starters were getting for getting past the fourth inning, the Twins are no longer messing around with their rotation and want to be contenders with some of their top talent on the way to Minneapolis.

Chris Schad is a lifelong Twins follower that has spent a majority of his life cheering the Twins on through the dark '90s and success of five American League Central championships in the 2000s. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.

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