It Can’t Be True! Pt. 2 and More (Much More)

One of the popular comments on the Hardy/Gomez trade is the fact that the Twins outfield defense will be poor, especially if the main OF consists of Delmon Young, Denard Span, and Michael Cuddyer. The big national guys keep citing stuff like UZR to back up their points, but my issue is that they keep forgetting one simple thing: The Twins front office does not use UZR or any form of advanced statistic to my knowledge. So as far as I’m concerned, the Twins are convinced that Denard Span is a great defensive CF, Cuddyer is an average RF with a good arm, and Delmon Young is a poor to average LF with a good arm. They don’t care at all that some advanced statistic that 90% of baseball fans can’t calculate on their own tells them that they’re dooming their entire starting rotation for failure just so they could improve their infield defense, which by the way, will field less ground balls than the outfield will field flies. I said in my previous post that although I consider this trade a steal for the Twins, I will miss Gomez because I valued him higher than Delmon Young. However, it sounds like the Brewers would have no part in acquiring Young because they were interested in either receiving starting pitchers or a good defensive CF to replace Mike Cameron.

MLB Trade Rumors speculated that the Twins may sign Adrian Beltre, citing that the Twins would then have a killer defensive left side of the infield and add another 20 HR bat to the lineup* (don’t forget that Beltre bats right as well, which is a need for the Twins). I haven’t done much research on this, but I’d like to see Beltre as a Twin. I might be OK with re-signing Joe Crede, but it has to be another incentive-laden deal (you have noooo idea how frustrated I was seeing him listed as “day-to-day,” which turned into 10 consecutive days, causing me to feel that he should have just been placed on the DL in the first place) and whoever replaces Crede better hit above .240/.300/.350 for me to avoid tearing out my hair. Of course, there’s always a young stud by the name of Danny Valencia waiting in the wings…

* Could you imagine having Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, and possibly Hardy, Beltre and Mauer all hitting 20 HR in a season EACH? Move over, Chicago White Sox!

Apparently the Cuddyer extension is getting a lot of negative feedback from the sabermetric community as well, just like the Kubel extension last year. I do agree with them, but I am first and foremost a Twins fan and I love Cuddyer, so I have to take this from the Twins perspective, which I think they all have forgotten. I’m willing to be that the Twins view Cuddy as:

1. A righthanded power bat

2. Average range but a good arm in right field

3. A great guy in the clubhouse

4. A great magician (just kidding)

…and so, they feel that he is a valuable member of the team. Even before Torii Hunter left, the Twins have been searching for a righthanded power hitter, and holding onto Cuddyer partially accomplishes this. It also helps show Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer that the team is committed to winning, which I feel is more important. Keeping Morneau and Mauer is definitely a priority, and you have to make moves to show them that you want them to stay. By declining the option, the Twins would have risked the perception that they would want to keep the payroll low in 2011, despite being the 2nd year of Target Field’s existence.

In today’s Star Tribune, Joe Christensen mentioned how the Twins will probably pursue a starting pitcher or two. He does cite re-signing Carl Pavano and chasing after Jarrod Washburn, but he also suggests that the Twins should find out what it would take to acquire Josh Johnson from the Florida Marlins or Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays. I think Johnson is attainable (probably will result with the Twins trading someone like Kevin Slowey though, along with one or two prospects) but I really doubt that the Twins can get Halladay. Plus, when hearing about the possibility of getting Halladay, I bet a bunch of people are going to react with, “Oh, we can send them Delmon Young and that little whiner Glen Perkins and I suppose Aaron Hicks and…” THAT’S NOT GOING TO WORK. As a couple other blogs have mentioned, you can’t trade your worst/most disliked players and get a great player in return, even if you throw in one or two people that actually have value. I think the Twins will most likely sign one starting pitcher (either Pavano or Washburn) and they’ll pursue someone along the lines of Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, etc. but won’t sign them.

From my last poll, Philip Humber received 50% (7) of the vote for not being welcome to rejoin the Twins for 2010. Brian Buscher received 4 votes, and R.A. Dickey brought up the rear with 3. I really thought Dickey would receive more votes than Buscher, but I guess not. Another poll is below on who the Twins will acquire for the 2010 rotation. I’m omitting Halladay because I really don’t see how the Twins could get him over a large market team, but I do suppose that you can write him in anyways. This will be helpful if you want to place a write-in vote, just scroll down the MLBTR page until you get to the list of SP. Please be realistic with your votes if you do choose to avoid using my suggested pitchers.


3 Responses to “It Can’t Be True! Pt. 2 and More (Much More)”

  1. Josh Says:

    Another thing that people need to consider with Cuddyer is that if you let him walk, the Twins won’t necessarily be able to sign a corner outfielder with the same credentials for a lower price. It’s not like 25+ homer, right-handed outfielders with a target salary of less than $7 million or so grow on trees. If the Twins lose a guy like Cuddy, I see them taking a chance on a Garret Anderson or something similar. His contract is a lot of money, but why take that gamble?

    His versatility is also a big plus… stepping in at 1st base was a huge plus for the Twins down the stretch. And heck, in a pinch, Cuddy could also play CF, 2B or 3B… not well, but that ability is important.

    And finally, leadership is most definitely important. Cuddyer is arguably the leader of the clubhouse and although not a quantifiable stat, I’m sure his keeping the guys lose, making speeches or helping others in unique ways probably adds a victory each season someway.

    • Bryz Says:

      My only issue with Garret Anderson is that he bats lefty, which the Twins already have plenty of lefthanded hitters in the lineup. I do agree though that it’s not easy to find a cheap 25+ HR outfielder, you almost have to develop that guy and make sure he avoids Super 2 status just so you only have 3 arbitration years instead of 4.

  2. Josh Says:

    And I totally have no yearning to sign Anderson… maybe as a 4th outfielder. Personally, I’d have a little interest in Randy Winn because of his defensive abilities… almost zero hitting ability though. Pridie may make the most sense now. He’s talented defensively, but would have plenty of trouble if pressed into a starting role.

    Any interest in Brandon Phillips? He’s possibly available. Great glove and bat… low OBP and expensive after this year.

    Here is the 3 part series I wrote for I think it will be more realistic that they find a cheaper 2nd baseman and resign a guy like Pavano.

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