The Twins Have Options
A lot of people here have been griping about having Batista as our everyday third baseman, but we're not stuck with him, folks. This is from ESPN.com:
Batista's deal is not guaranteed. If he's released before opening day, he would get only 30 or 45 days of termination pay -- not the full $1.25 million.
TR can dump Batista if a better deal comes along! That's good news if you're rooting for a Punto & Blackburn for Koskie deal. Take that 2mil left over from Jones leaving and White signing. Add it to the 700K or so that Punto would make after arbitration. Now you've got almost 3mil. Now add it to the 1.25mil the Twins would pay Batista. That's about 4mil to devote to Koskie. Suddenly the Jays wouldn't have to pick up much (if any) of Koskie's salary via trade. -And the Twins wouldn't need a third team to make the deal.
You have to assume that TR is still looking for an upgrade at 3rd. Otherwise why would he not have guaranteed Batista's contract? TR is not married to the idea of Batista as part of the '06 Twins. I'd go as far as to say that Batista's deal was simply an insurance policy if the Twins couldn't find any better option.