A third opinion
As I'm sure you've noticed, I've had a bit of a one track mind lately, trying to figure out what the Twins should do as we head into July. I had a personal identity crisis as I proposed that the Twins take it easy this summer, not doing anything major. Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune had a different opinion, thinking that the Twins needed to undo what they did this offseason, trying to rely more on home grown talent. Both Souhan and I certainly want the same thing for the team, victory in the near and long term, I thought it would be best to consult with someone who knows their stuff, but might not be as biased as Souhan or I. In that spirit, I asked Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors his thoughts on what the Twins should try to do before the trade deadline.
It turns out, he had a third opinion. Rather than standing pat or giving a more prominent role to the youth on the team, Tim suggests something a little bit different. His ideas are seen below:
The Twins are currently just 1.5 games back of the White Sox. They're four games over .500. The Twins have a middling offense, especially against southpaws. Their starting pitching has been lousy, the bullpen average. Defense has been poor. The good news: there are many avenues to improve the team.Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, Adam Everett, and Mike Lamb have all been drains on the offense. Tons of easy outs. The Twins could improve the team without giving up the farm - players like Casey Blake, Dallas McPherson, Kenny Lofton, Matt Murton, Juan Rivera, Randy Winn, and Brian Giles are available. I'd even consider Barry Bonds. If you're only 1.5 games out you have to go for it, but half the lineup needs a makeover. Even some league average bats could give a boost.Livan Hernandez is done. I would look to bring in a veteran starter to fill his spot. Guys like Kevin Millwood or Randy Wolf would make sense if the Sabathias and Bedards cost too much. Freddy Garcia might be able to provide a September boost.You can't acquire players for nothing, of course. Bill Smith should make the tough decision to give up one of his young pitchers. I think the Twins should go for it, but they'd have to commit to many upgrades rather than hope internal options pan out.
Looking at his logic, I like what he's thinking. It wouldn't be a huge drain to add any of the bats he suggests, even when it involves adding salary, as the squad cut so much leading into this season. Also, if we're in the market to trade prospects, I'm all for trading pitching prospects, since they are a bit more volatile.
In my perfect world, if the Twins acquire two players of Tim's list, I would go with Matt Murton, simply because he is still young and bound to improve, and Kevin Millwood, because, as Tim said, Livan is likely done. Wolf would be fine if the Twins needed a third or fourth starter, but I think the team needs someone to take the lead of the rotation late in the year. Of course, I'm not sure what the Cubs or Rangers are asking for those particular players.
Given the problems that Tim spelled out in the beginning of his comments, if Bill Smith agrees with Tim's course of action, Twins fans could be in for an active July.
Thanks again to Tim Dierkes for helping out!
Labels: Minnesota Twins