It became clear early in the offseason that the Twins were going to let Mike Redmond leave via free agency with Jose Morales appearing ready to take over the backup catcher role.
On Friday, Redmond, 38, officially became an ex-Twin when he signed a one-year deal with the Indians for the 2010 season. The terms of the deal were not known.
Redmond will be the veteran backup to Indians catcher Lou Marson, and he’ll provide some experience to what will be a young ballclub in Cleveland.
The Twins will miss Redmond mostly for the leadership and personality that he brought to the clubhouse. He played the role of mentor to Joe Mauer when he first arrived in Minnesota and over his five years there, he helped many of the young pitchers in the rotation to develop.
While the Twins knew that Redmond would likely have to go elsewhere to continue playing, many of his Twins teammates agreed that his presence within the clubhouse will be missed.
“It will be hard not to see him in the clubhouse,” Michael Cuddyer said the day after the Twins were swept in the ALDS by the Yankees. “He’s been the unquestionable leader on this team. Any time Joe needed help with the staff, he went to Red. Any time guys needed help in how to play the game, they went to Red. Obviously he’s my best friend on the team and if he doesn’t play here again he’ll be sorely missed in my eyes. But at the same time, I think he’s left his mark here and now these young guys see the way he led. These guys will be able to follow his example.”
The Twins may no longer have the man who was known for the naked walk inside the clubhouse, but they’ll get a chance to see him plenty of times with the Indians. The two teams will face each other 18 times in 2010.