Sunday, June 29, 2008

What if the Twins go for it this year?

Somehow, the Twins are only 1.5 games out of first at the half-way point of the season and sit 8 games above .500 despite some glaring deficiencies to this point.  The AL Central is very winnable and the Twins have some glaring, easy-to-improve weaknesses.  With the minor league pitching depth, it is possible to make a run at this year without interrupting the "compete in 2010" rebuilding process.

What do the Twins need?  There are easy upgrades at 3B (although Buscher has already been a major upgrade over "hits like a" Lamb), SS/2B (depending if Casilla could move to SS), and corner OF/DH.  With the Delmonator penciled in as a building block and Cuddyer under a semi-long-term contract, the team probably disagrees with my assessment.  But Cuddyer's injury could change the picture...

This could be a mess, but I'm going to look at some of the shittiest teams in the league to see how the Twins' needs match up with what they might be looking to unload at the deadline.

By my estimation there are eight teams that won't be bullshitting their fans into believing they are in the Wild Card race:

Padres - Brian Giles
Rockies - Matt Holliday (rumored), Garrett Atkins
Giants - Randy Winn, Ray Durham
Reds - Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn, Griffey Jr.
Pirates - Jason Bay, Xavier Nady
Astros - Jacques Schitt
Nationals - Cristian Guzman, Dmitri Young
Mariners - Raul Ibanez, Adrian Beltre

Granted, there are more players that will probably be available, but I tried to keep it limited.

There are some intriguing names on the list, but some aren't very realistic--the Twins won't give up enough to get into any Holliday sweepstakes, probably don't like Dunn's style, remember the Guzman experience, and Griffey probably isn't a realistic target here.  And frankly, I don't think the team thinks they need OF/DH help with Cuddyer, Young, and Kubel.

What it all comes down to is that I want the Twins to trade for Adrian Beltre.  He's under contract next year for a very reasonable $12mm, plays gold glove caliber defense, and will see some power return if removed from Safeco field (even playing in that RH-power-killing park, he has more HR than any Twin).  I'm not sure what it would take to get him, but the assumption is that he's available.

Or the Twins can call the Pirates and ask for the part-time left side of their infield, Doug Mientkiewicz (3B) and Luis Rivas (SS).  I am not kidding, look it up.

I was going to go for the common cheap shot and make fun of the Twins for never making a move, but then remembered the Rick Reed and Shannon Stewart trades.  It is time to make a move again.  Come on Bill Smith, you know you want to make a trade that turns out better than the Young-Garza swap has so far.


WWWWWW said...

Could not agree more. There is building for the future, and then there is being so scared to do anything that you paralyze your team. In a shitty division, one player could make all the difference, and as long as you don't move any of the four young pitchers that are up right now, you have to go for it.

But if you think the Twins are trading for a guy who makes $12mm a year, you're truly delusional.

The Sidler said...

Well, they did spend $14mm on pure crap this offseason. I know it is wishful thinking to expect them to consolidate spending on one legit player instead of a bunch of retreads.

SLombardozzi#4 said...

Atkins in Colorado is legit and would love to see him in a Twins uni. Hits for power/average, plays great at 3rd and is pretty cheap the next two years. Could easily land him for a couple young guys since the Rockies have Ian Stewart they want to move into that spot.

The Sidler said...

Atkins would be an upgrade, but I'm biased against trading for Rockies. His home/road splits have gotten worse--his road OPS is .661 vs. .927 at home (.773/.936 last year), even though his HR splits are neutral.

Beltre's road OPS is well over .800 (.832 this year, .858 last) the last season and a half. Home OPS = .708/.745