I've been reading a lot around the Twins' "blogosphere" recently about what type of acquisitions should be made to improve our club. I hear a lot of talk about a 3B or a 2B, mainly a 3B. I also hear about a possible 4th or 5th OF, or even a bat off of the bench. What surprises me is how little talk there is of adding another starting pitcher, which by far was our biggest drawback in 2009. I want to discuss this topic a little and see if I can get a discussion going, which I know will be very difficult without any readers, so if you happen-upon this blog and enjoy it, please spread the word. And without further ado, my first "real" post shall continue...
Many people are upset that we may just end up signing Joe Crede to another 1-year deal. I've read how we need to move quickly on a 3B like Adrian Beltre or Kevin Kouzmanoff, but I think our 3B of the future is already in our system honestly. I'm not sure if Danny Valencia will be ready for the starting role out of Spring Training, but I am pretty sure that he will be ready come June/July 2010, and I believe it would be wrong to acquire any free agent 3B for more than a 1-year deal. I see Valencia as a league-average to possibly above league-average hitter at 3B, and that is leaps and bounds above the production that we've gotten out of the hot-corner in quite a few years. To sign a 3B to a multi-year deal would only make sense if we plan on shipping off Valencia, which I don't see the Twins doing. So hopefully all of this 3B talk will die down and we can move on and actually improve the team.
I am definitely more in favor of signing a 2B over a 3B, as this a position of need in our organization. We lack any prospect that would be ready to step into a starting role in 2010, and probably in 2011/2012 as well (unless one surprises us). So I would not be opposed to signing someone like Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez. Those would be my top two choices, but there are still plenty of other options such as Kelly Johnson, Adam Kennedy and Mark Derosa, who I would rate in said order (Mark Derosa is that low due to his asking price and me being generally low on him). If we were to sign one of these 2B to a multi-year deal, then Punto could start the year at 3B to give Valencia time to prepare for the spot down in AAA. On the other hand, if we sign a 3B to a multi-year deal, that almost certainly means that Punto would be starting at 2B, which isn't all bad, but I do believe there to be superior options. All Twins fans must admit that Punto will start somewhere, we WILL NOT sign both a 2B and a 3B...It just won't happen while Gardy has a say.
I understand the argument here...we want someone to put pressure on Delmon to perform, as well as someone who could spell Span in CF. In my opinion this is not a pressing matter, but if I were to have my choice of the free agent crop that could fill these two needs, it would be Marlon Byrd. He is a right-handed bat that can hit for power as well as a decent-enough OF to spell Span in CF when needed...the only problem with this would be the matter of a lead-off hitter with Span out of the line-up. But I'm sure Gardy would have it covered and just bat Punto lead-off. Other than that I have little to say about this option, mainly because I think that if we fill this need, it will be done best cheaply, and late in the off-season.
As I stated earlier, I believe the best way that we can improve our team is to sign/acquire a lights-out starting pitcher. There aren't a whole lot of options for guys with front-end potential, but I would like to see the Twins take a gamble on Erik Bedard if it's not unreasonably expensive. He's a left-handed, front-of-the-rotation type starter when healthy, and would possibly sign to a one or two-year deal due to his injury history. I would love if we could pull a trade for someone like Brandon Webb, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Matt Cain, etc., but I just don't see that happening. Another option would be Ben Sheets, as he is comparable to Bedard. But honestly, I don't see any of this happening after Pavano excepted arbitration. I believe the Twins will have a rotation quite close to: Baker, Slowey, Blackburn, Pavano, Liriano/Duensing/Swarzak to start the season...which I guess wouldn't be the worst thing, as I expect the young staff to have an overall better year than 2009. But, only time will tell...And it may be 2010 before anything happens, which brings me to my next point...
Welcome everyone (no one more than likely) to the "grand opening" of The Willard's Twins Blog! I have been a longtime Twins fan and hope to share opinions and start discussions based around my beloved Minnesota Twins. I will hopefully be able to post on a semi-regular basis, though I really don't know how much I will post at this early stage. I look forward to engaging in conversations with other devoted Minnesota Twins fans.
So for my first bit of news I am delighted to share that Joe Mauer will be on the cover of Sony's MLB 10 The Show game, which is a favorite franchise of mine. Everyone be sure to reserve a copy (or two) as it will come out in March 2010. I look forward to sharing more news and opinions in the near future.