Friday, June 03, 2011

Who can go?

What is the biggest difference between the Twins this year and the Twins last year? In my mind, it's depth. Last year when Justin Morneau got hurt, Jim Thome played every day. When Joe Mauer got hurt, the Twins brought in Wilson Ramos or Jose Morales. When Nick Punto was nicked up, Danny Valencia was brought in. Now? The Twins have no depth. I will go so far as to apply this to the bullpen as well, because what is relief pitching, if not pitching depth? So I will say this. Any moves that the Twins make should be to bolster the depth of the team so they can weather storms next season.
Now, who can we part with? Well, let's create a plan.
OUTFIELD: It is imperative, given the dimensions of Target Field and the composition of the pitching staff, that the Twins put together a good defensive outfield. The only person, in my opinion, that should be safe in the outfield is Denard Span. Jason Kubel is certainly the most tradable asset the Twins have, as he is doing well at the plate and he is a contract year. I think the Twins should move him as soon as he comes off the disabled list, given his luck statistics are very high right now, so his worth goes down as the season wears on. Jim Thome and Michael Cuddyer are also in their walk years, and frankly don't have a role going forward. I don't know where either player could be moved to, however. Cuddyer may even have a little sentimental value going forward, making that even tougher, but he would hae to take a deal to return. I would subsequently like to see Span stay in center and have Delmon Young move to the DH role next year. Ben Revere is ready, in my mind, for a full season at the Majors and would certainly help the outfield defense. The final outfield spot would have to be filled by other means, say Aaron Hicks if he comes along far enough, or perhaps one of the components received in a trade.
INFIELD: This is a stickier situation. There is nobody in a contract year, and the infield was dealt a major set back when Tsuyoshi Nishioka was injured, but then when Alexi Casilla, Justin Morneau and Danny Valencia have been sensationally underwhelming, it doesn't make you feel better about things. I don't think anyone here is irreplaceable, but I can't imagine anyone getting traded. This goes to the catchers too.
PITCHERS: Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano are all candidates to be dealth, and I can really object to any of those players being moved, especially if major league ready prospects come back. The issue is trading too many of those starters. Kyle Gibson may be ready to slip into the rotation, but is there someone else that could be added? PRobably not yet out of the farm system.

I think the team could definitely be active. Don't be disappointed if the "better" players are traded soon, because that is the best way to maximize the return. Hopefully this is good for the long term.



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