In what proved a season-saving decision last winter, Twins general manager Bill Smith inked veteran slugger Jim Thome to a one-year deal, shortly before solidifying second base with the acquisition of Orlando Hudson.

Then Smith picked up veteran relievers like Brian Fuentes and Matt Capps down the stretch to bulk up the bullpen, moves made with the intention of allowing Minnesota to put up a fight in October.

Unfortunately, we all know the tragic end to that story.

With that in mind, the searing question with pitchers and catchers due to report in less than a month is simply, what can be rationally expected from this bullpen, which has lost Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier...continue...?