Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twins Talk

Since we unfortunately have a night off from college buckets, and at least one reader is clamoring for Twins roster speculation as seen by the bordering on obsessive comment left earlier today, I'll go ahead and take a look at what some of the rumors out there surrounding the Twins this offseason.

In no particular order, other than the order their names jumped into my head.

Akinori Iwamura, written about here previously, is no longer an option, seeing as he was traded to Pittsburgh.  It's a bit perplexing, because the Pirates aren't going anywhere any time soon, and they had to trade a young semi-promising middle relief prospect in order to pay him $4 million for one year.  It's also disappointing because that's cheap as hell for his production and I'd be willing to bet the Twins could have gotten him for like, Armando Gabino (who was plucked away by the Orioles off waivers, by the way).  Anyway, it's not happening, so it's time to move on. 

- Lovely reader Kate, who was the first one to turn me on to Iwamura, has indeed moved on, and is "literally drooling" over the thought of Adrian Beltre on the Twins (her words, not mine), and we've made no secret of our Beltre love here at DWG before.  There is a lot that points to this being a possibility, including this article where mlbtraderumors.com predicts Beltre will end up a Twin, and the fact that he is a Type B free agent means the Twins won't have to give up a draft pick to sign him.  The sort of large negative here is that Beltre actually had the Twins on his "no trade clause" list.  Beltre had his worst hitting season as a pro and nearly lost a gonad (that's not a joke), but he's still intriguing and would look awfully nice on the hot corner if he is affordable.  I'd love to see a 2 year/$5 million per, but I have no idea what the market will be.

-  Speaking of the market for 3b, you can go ahead and forget about Chone Figgins, he's going to be the hottest property out there, and there's no chance you're going to see the Twins in a bidding war for him.

-  Hell, as long as we're listing people for you to forget about, let's add John Lackey to the list as well.  Not only is he a type A - meaning if the Twins were to sign him they would have to give up their first round pick next year, something they would never do, but because he's the top pitcher on the market.  That means teams like the Yankees and Red Sox will be after him, and that means that contract will end up being more than the Twins' payroll.  So, sorry PA who continually talks up Lackey to the Twins, get your head out of the clouds (and your ass) - it ain't happening.  No way, no how.

-  One free agent pitcher who does have a shot at winding up here is Rich Harden, an immensely talent yet injury prone pitcher who has only pitched more than 25 games in a season twice in his six years, although one of those was last year.  There's no doubt he would be a huge risk, but there's also no doubt he has the talent to be a front of the rotation starter if he stays healthy.  I wouldn't invest a lot of money or a lot of years, but if they can get him to sign an incentive-laden deal he could end up being a huge steal.

-  As far as other middle infielders go, two names I had heard as possibilities, Marco Scutaro and Placido Polanco, both suddenly got a lot less likely with the announcement that they are both type-A guys.  I'm actually glad that's how it shook out for Scutaro, because although I like his multi-positionalness and knowledge of the strike zone, I can't shake the feeling that he's a utility guy who had a career year.  I am bummed, however, about Polanco, who I was really hoping the Twins would end up signing to a two or three year deal.  This really reduces the odds he ends up here, since I can't see the Twins getting rid of a first round pick to sign a 34-year old for two years.  The rule is meant to help smaller market teams, and it works in a lot of cases, but this time the team getting screwed is the small market.   

-  One guy who was helped by the classification was Mark DeRosa, who, it was thought, would be a type A but ended up a type B, greatley expanding the pool of teams who will be looking at him.  The Twins showed some interest in him last season, and I would guess they take another look at him this winter.  His numbers absolutely plummeted last year after his trade to the National League, and he's 34 years old with just two seasons better than league average in his career, so I'm inclined to pass.

-  Common commenter and former contributor Dawger mentioned that the Twins should look into signing Miguel Tejada.  If you ever wonder why we question his baseball (and all sports, really) acumen, this should be all you need to know.  Actually, that's a bit harsh.  If he can play second base (I don't know the answer to this) and they can get him for a similar deal to the one Crede signed, I guess that would be ok.

-  Turning our attention to pitching, the one interesting thing I read is that the Texas Rangers feel they have a surplus of pitching (seriously, the Rangers) and could be looking to move Brandon McCarthy - yes, the same McCarthy who was a failed prospect with the White Sox, but is now starting to look pretty good for Texas.  I have no idea what the price would be, and I actually need to do a lot more research on this before I decide if I'm excited or not.  For now, color me intrigued with a chance of arousal - just like your mom last time I was at your house. 

-  As far as free agent pitchers go, outside of Harden the only name I've heard connected to the Twins at all is Jarrod Washburn (and Lackey, if you count jackasses who work for KFAN and are less well informed than my dad when it comes to his computer), and the only other name that has perked my interest a tad was J.J. Putz.   Washburn feels like the town strumpet at this point, and has either been with every team or been rumored to be with every team at this point.  I'm having a lot of trouble getting even remotely excited about him (unlike Dawger at wrestling practice) and would need to hear a solid argument from someone else.  Putz, on the other hand, was bought out by the Mets and so would have no compensation issues, and is just two years removed from being a lights-out closer (and was a good set up guy last year).  Again, the market will dictate whether or not the Twins should go after him, but he's worth a look.  I like to compare the Twins' bullpen to God - I have no faith.

-  Lastly, tell me freaking Melvin Mora doesn't feel like exactly like the kind of guy the Twins would sign to play third.  Yuck.

-  That's really all I have for free agents, but if you want to take a look at the guys the Twins have exclusive rights to - Pavano, Cabrera, Redmond, Crede, and Mahay - and really the only interesting guy here is Pavano.  I'd right stuff, but instead just go here to Nick's Twins blog where he writes a whole lot more than I care or have the abililty to about this Pavano dealie.  Under no circumstances should Redmond be resigned, and Mahay is meh.  Cabrera has no place here, yet the papers continue to say he could be signed if he would play second solely because he had a nice 15-game stretch and people desperately want to believe in "clutch" - he's as good as gone.  Crede is the only other possibility I'd entertain resigning.  After yet another year torpedoed by injuries, the market for him is likely to be even lower than last season.  Would he sign here for one year, $1 million?  $2 million?  Seriously, if he would sign for that kind of money he's a no-brainer.  Hell, even 2 years at $2 million per year is probably worth it.

-  The last thing is trades, and if you are seriously contemplating trading Nathan, Morneau, or Mauer (I'm talking to you anonymous poster) you are dumber than Audrina (although not nearly as hot).  None of them should be traded (and I assume the Mauer part is shtick) unless somebody comes up to Billy Smith and seriously blows his skirt up with an offer.  Although imagine the offer they could get for Mauer.  What if the Rangers offered Neftali Feliz, Justin Smoak, Elvis Andrus, Taylor Teagarden, and Brandon McCarthy?  Seriously.  You would have to take that.  But that's the kind of thing I'm talking about.  Other than that, you shouldn't trade any of those three, unless you can somehow get Joakim Soria in some way.

-  The very last thing I'll say, is that the Brewers tried to get either Adam Lind or Travis Snider from the Blue Jays or Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox for J.J. Hardy before settling for Carlos Gomez.  Wow.  That is like trying to get with Lindsay Lohan circa 2004 and ending with this recent trainwrecky and not in a good way version.  Also, as I close this post, that reminds me that I mentioned Audrina somewhere up above and as such, this must now happen:

That was her when we left the bar the other night.  You all have a nice day.


Kate said...

Guess I couldn't wait til tomorrow to read your latest post.

If Texas adds Nelson Cruz and Emilio Bonifacio along with those you've listed above I'd unload Nathan AND Mauer. Talk about dreams coming true. Gawd, I love Elvis Andrus!!

Boo to Jarrod Washburn-washed up.


Kate said...

Why did I think Bonifacio played for the Rangers? It's late and I'm obviously experiencing a cognitive lapse-nothing new for me. So, yeah, what I said above only without the Bonifacio business. Excuse me while I helmet up and board the bus...

Anonymous said...

Listen I don’t think I should be given the dumber than Audrina take for making the suggestion to trade Nathan, Morneau or Mauer. I am sure I deserve it for other things but not that. Yes throwing Mauer in is kind of in jest unless you could reap the benefits of some major talent in return. Like a young talented 2B or 3B, 2 starters and some middle relief.

Has Nathan flamed out? Does the league feel that way or could the Twins get some real talent for him? If you could get a starter and 2nd baseman you could always move Guerrier to the closer spot and Neshek comes back as the set up man.

As for Morneau he has slumped down the stretch for 2 plus seasons. He has had injuries but I think his value remains high. No one has commented on the trade rumor sending him to the Jays for Halladay and Hill. He gets to head back to Canada and we get some solid help, Cuddy showed he could take care of 1st and one could argue he had a better bat while there. Maybe no one is talking about it because I made it up but still on screen it looks good. May need to add something on the twins end but definitely not out of the realm of possibility to trade a guy like that.

I love that you talked about Harden, which would be outstanding as the upside would be worth the risk of maybe only getting 15-20 starts out of him. Beltre would be nice but I just wonder when the untradeable Valencia will be ready to finally play. Can O-Cab play 2B? That would be a decent fill in for 1 or 2 years. Crede isn’t worth the print on the contract he would sign, I think the 'no brainer' suggestion even at 1 or 2M is out of line.

Good stuff though, hot stove thirst is gone for a bit, thanks.

snacks said...

Did someone really just suggest making Guerrier a closer? That my friend proves you are dumber than Audrina.

I will say that your trade Nathan idea does have some merit. The guy is what 35 or so? Not unrealistic to think he's numbers will begin to drop sharply (see end of last year) and now might be the time to trade him while his value is high and before he ruins another Twins post season with one play (copyright torii hunter). Neshek can handle closing, or maybe even Bonser (who I have long championed as a potential shut down late innings guy). Rauch could potential handle the spot for a year as well.

Dharma Bum said...

I also would be fine with trading Nathan if we got a good offer. If we trade Mauer and it's a salary dump like Santana I'm never going to another game. Seriously, if we can pay cuddyer 10.5 million we can resign Mauer. Even if we have to surround him with replacement level players he still gives us a chance at winning (see 2009).

Sorry, I meant to just post that while I think Harden is great, a team like the Twins can't spend that much money on such a risk. He's going to a bigger market. No doubt.

Anonymous said...

for some reason it wouldn't let me comment in your big ten preview thread...but now it looks like royce white is a suspect in a rage of campus thefts; laptops i guess...nice knowing ya royce white, we hardly knew ya! BOO

WWWWWW said...

I heard that about Royce on the radio. I am going to keep quiet on this until more information comes out.

Call it the "stick your fingers in your ears and say nananananananananana" defense, if you will.

Anonymous said...

Really! Guerrier is dumb but hanging your hat on Boof and Rauch is acceptable? You wrote Boof right, the didn’t pitch last year hurt all too often Boof? He has averaged 100ip/year healthy, with a career 7.3 k/9 and 1.48 whip while Guerrier has averaged 75/ip over the last 4 years with a career 6.3 k/9 and whip of 1.27 (highlighted by 1.05 in 07 and .97 in 09). I think I would try Guerrier before the guy who gets hurt every time he tries to lose weight or put it back on.

Rauch, however, is an interesting suggestion. He is known to eat innings and make a lot of appearances and with a career 7.3 k/9 and 1.23 whip he would seem to have the stats. I just wonder if he could keep that up in the American league as most of his best work was done in the National league.

We can obviously both agree Nathan would be expendable for the right deal. I would also argue Morneau and Mauer are as well, even though no one wants to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Seriously now the Jays are talking to the Mariners about Overbay, Billy Smith should be dialing the phone right now with Morneau on the table.