It’s no secret that here in the virtual pages of Getting Blanked, we often like to have fun at the expense of the Minnesota Twins. For all the empty platitudes about “playing the game the right way” the Minnesotas have been terrible the last two seasons with a combined winning percentage under .400.

With the expected healthful return of superstars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau and the addition of underrated pieces Josh Willingham and Jamey Carroll many (myself included) saw the Twins rebounding in 2012 to something resembling a mediocre team (or, you know, a contender in the AL Central). However, entering today’s action, they are 30-45, ahead of only the Seattle Mariners in the American League.

Yesterday, however, those same last place Twins announced that nobody’s catcher Ryan Doumit had been extended for two more seasons at a total fiscal sum of $7-million. Yes, this is the same Ryan Doumit that is considered to be one of the worst defensive catchers in baseball and the same Ryan Doumit that has hit the DL eight times since 2006.

Offensively, Doumit has some ability. Including 2012, Doumit has been an above average hitter in five of the last six seasons, but his lack of a defensive position and propensity to get hurt diminish his value significantly. Add on to that that he’s 31-years-old and Doumit would seem to be exactly the type of player that the Twins should avoid signing to an extension and would instead trade away in order to gleam something of value from him before the inevitable DL stint.

But this seems to be the way of the Twins right now. Their seeming refusal to realize that a major rebuild is in order is only ensuring more struggles ahead. It’s not that two years and $7-million is a lot for a player of Doumit’s ilk—certainly he has some value as a bench or platoon player—and it’s not as if that figure will financially hamstring the Twins, it’s just that they seem to think that players like Doumit are going to help them overcome the likes of the Tigers and White Sox over the next two years. Given the current roster, their putrid results, and an uninspiring farm system, it would seem to make way more sense for the Twins to trade a player like Doumit rather than continually occupy this awkward middle ground between contender and rebuilder when it’s obvious that the talent pool is dry.

Many teams, including ones like the Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox, could seemingly use a player who will provide decent production and the ability to play—even poorly—catcher, first base and the corner outfield spots. Certainly, the return would have been minimal for Minnesota, but considering that they’re well on their way to a second consecutive 90-loss season, extending him just seems pointless. This team is no longer a perennial 90-win juggernaut and the sooner Terry Ryan and the Twins front office realizes that, the better for Twins fans and the franchise more generally.

And the Rest:

Yesterday, it was reported that the Dodgers and Astros were close to a deal that would send breakout shortstop Jed Lowrie west for two pitching prospects, including LA’s top prospect Zach Lee. Today, however, it’s being reported that the deal is not for Lowrie, but is actually for first baseman Carlos Lee [Matthew Pouliot, NBC Hardball Talk]. Lee has a limited no-trade clause and must approve a trade to the Dodgers and according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, he is still mulling it over.

ESPN’s Buster Olney and FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi are reporting that Lee is leaning toward staying with the Astros. Morosi speculates that this is due to the successful cattle ranch that Lee owns in Texas, an area in which he’s very comfortable.

The Mets are reportedly interested in Padres closer Huston Street [Andy Martino, Twitter].

Yu Darvish doesn’t think he’s pitched well enough to be an All-Star [AP Sports].

GIFs of some of Trevor Bauer’s pitches from his Major League debut. Because, why not? [Carson Cistulli, FanGraphs].

Over the last week or so, Baseball Prospectus has been putting together some excellent pieces examining the trade market for this month and who some teams might be looking to acquire. Yesterday detailed the NL Central [R.J. Anderson, Jeff Euston & Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus].

You know what’s better than Power Rankings? A lot of things. One of those things is undoubtedly The KAPOWER Rankings [Ryan Oakley, Getting Blanked].

Daniel Nava: On-Base MACHINE [Brian McPherson, Providence Journal].

Brandon Belt’s approach may be historically unique [Jesse Sakstrup, The Hardball Times].

Mike Trout is basically a terrorist [Ian Miller, Productive Outs].

Finally, from the always excellent D-Rays Bay, a lineup simulator that uses regressed splits. Probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while.

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