Monday, July 14, 2008

Beltre on Way?

Posted on Star Tribune today, it looks like Sidler might get his wish

Twins ask Seattle about Beltre
By LA VELLE E. NEAL III, Star Tribune

Last update: July 14, 2008 - 7:37 AM

DETROIT - The Twins recently contacted Seattle to inquire about third baseman Adrian Beltre as they look for ways to boost their offense against lefthanded pitching, a club source said.

It's unclear how deep the discussions got, but the Twins decided to act on the internal discussions they had about the Mariners slugger.

Beltre, 29, is batting .259 with 16 homers and 46 RBI. He is regarded as an excellent defensive player, having won the Gold Glove at third last year, and could be rejuvenated by being in a pennant chase. He is being paid $12 million this season and again in 2009.

The Twins are 13-14 against lefthanded starters, with a slugging percentage of .380 and on base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) of .695. Their numbers against righthanded starters -- .422 slugging and .768 OPS -- are noticeably better.

I am very much in favor of this move. Brian Buscher has been good, but he doesn't give the Twins what they really need and that's power. Even in the minors in 2,000 career ABs he only it a total of 39 dongs. With Cuddyer on the shelf and Delmon Young religiously against hitting homeruns, right handed power has been non-existant. Beltre instantly gives them that, plus a high quality glove on the corner. He's been down a bit since finishing runner up as NL MVP in 2004 and signing his big contract with Seattle, but he would still be a massive upgrade for the Twins. Obviously giving up a top level prospect is a no-no, but the Twins have plenty of mid-level pitching prospects that Seattle might be willing to take. Just off the top of my head I would be ok with giving up a guy like Anthony Swarzak, Jeff Manship, or Tyler Robertson - or even one of those two d-bags that were thrown in the Santana trade. The Twins are chock full o' pitching prospects, so it wouldn't hurt to move one of them (note: I'd rather not move Swarzak or Robertson, but if needed, do it.)

Of course, Beltre is owed whatever is left of his $12 million this year and $12 million next year, so I would guess the Twins would never make this kind of move, despite being the kind of thing that could take them into the playoffs. He also has a partial no-trade clause where he can block 8 teams, but I have no clue who is on it and can't find it anywhere - hopefully not the Twins.

When you signed Joe Nathan you made a statement and a commitment that this wasn't a rebuilding year, so please, pretty please, make this trade. Maybe we can get them to take Boof, too.


Dharma Bum said...

He might be worth the 12 mil in a walk year. But he could be black lamb too.
By the way, when cuddyer comes back, shouldn't they send go-go gomez down and put Span in Center?

The Sidler said...

At $12mm, Beltre is a value next season. Gold glove defense, power, and better overall offensive contributions than the numbers indicate.

Everyone wants to call him a bust since he hasn't matched his last walk year, but Safeco destroys RH batters and the market has definitely caught up with his contract.

Plug him at 3B with Punto at SS and the Twins infield defense is suddenly one of the best in the league. With Span in RF, the outfield D is stout as well. That's a huge improvement from earlier in the season with Lamb, No-arm Everett, and Harris at 3B/SS/2B.

I have no idea what the Mariners would want in return. They have no clue right now and are basically running Mike Lamb out there to DH and hit cleanup...

Gomez sucks right now. He's a marginal leadoff hitter at best, and one of the worst in the league when he's slumping.

WWWWWW said...

I doubt you'll see Gomez sent down anytime soon, even if it is the right move. He should've started the season in AAA to begin with, but he's the shiny toy from the Santana trade, and I think too much of the fanbase would see the trade as a disaster if the one piece they've seen every day is sent down, looking at it as a "failure."

Dharma Bum said...

Agreed about the Mariners DH, do you read Posanski? Read this post:
Maybe we can give them Bass, call him a good setup guy. They might fall for it.

I agree the twins won't send down Gomez. At least start hitting him 9th.

WWWWWW said...

Sidler, can you use your connections and get a copy of Mario Kart for the Wii?

The Sidler said...

JoePos is as good as it gets. If I had 1/3 of his talent, I'd write a similar piece about the ignorance of Gomez leading off, all of the stupid bunts the Twins do, and the infatuation with speed...

The Sidler said...

WWW, I have no Nintendo connections, unfortunately. I just heard Kart is impossible to find in store, talk about poor planning.

Maybe if you renounced your Guitar Hero love I'd let you borrow my copy.