Minnesota Twins happy for Detroit Tigers’ Akil Baddoo
What do the Minnesota Twins think of Akil Baddoo and his hot April start who stole the Twins in a couple of early games at Comerica Park?
They are officially happy – for Baddoo, who thanks to the draft of rule 5 is now Tiger’s property. But they clearly wish he was back in Minnesota’s system and honing his skills for a potential life in the big league at Target Field, just as he was before Detroit grabbed him last December.
That the Tigers could bring him back to the Twins – the main option if Detroit decides not to keep Baddoo on the 26-man roster for all of 2021 – is unlikely, according to Derek Falvey, president of baseball operations for the Twins, but all admitted during an interview with Twins media members last week.
Part of the transcript follows:
► Is Akil Baddoo a bigger regret now than trading with Lance Lynn?
“Yes, Akil, great kid, one of the best makeup kids we have in the system through and through. Certainly what he’s already done over the course of his spring training and the way he got off to this start was enormous. I’m personally very happy for him. I think for us as we went through the decisions to protect like we do every off season, when you get to the limit and where you are going to draw the line, they are not easy decisions. He was certainly in the process of adding to the (40-man) list at the time. I think our position at the time was to just see where we were with our squad, what we needed to stay open to free agency slots, where our major league team was – and at the time our view of where Akil was relative to the major league level. But obviously he’s got off to a great start. We certainly didn’t disappoint him, especially if he does that against us (Baddoo’s performance against the twins last week). But I will tell you that I am personally happy for him. “
► Did you even think someone would take a man who hasn’t played in two years and only has one ball?
“I mean, what you identify is probably a lot of the conversations we had in our room just to see the potential for it. We always know that any player you leave open or unprotected is a good player. We thought Akil is and we thought then and still today, that is always a possibility. But ultimately, being close to the big leagues, wasted a lot of time with what you just said, has obviously done a good job of preparing as well as possible over the course of this off-season so that he can go to the start that he can Has . ”
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► Did you ever protect him?
“Yes, in any case. It is easy to tell now, but I can tell you that this is the truth, and you can check it out with much of our group. He’s right on the edge of the last man or something we wanted to protect. We reach this line every year and all you have to do is make one call. You want to protect more and more players. They hate losing players. But you are also in a position where if you overprotect you will really overload your roster and then be unable to make changes. It is also much easier to claim an exception with someone who has three options than it is sometimes under rule 5. So that was part of the rationale for every player we add or not add. “
Lynn Henning is a freelance writer and former sports reporter for Detroit News.