At the more-than-halfway point with the Twins still in the hunt, maybe it is time for them to consider a tactic they have avoided in the past, and that is to eat some salary.
My comments are not born of a dislike for Mike Lamb or Craig Monroe - who combined cost the Twins $10 million, I believe. It's just business.
And although it is still a lot of money to blow, it is not as much as it might seem.
Mr. Monroe's contract is half over and Mr. Lamb's one-quarter over, so the Twins are no longer "on the hook" for the roughly $10 million the two signed for, It is more like $1.5 million left to pay Mr. Monroe and $4 million for Mr. Lamb.
The team is not impoverished
This is not my money, of course, but:
1. If the Twins make the playoffs, they probably regain those millions. Of course, that's an "if."
2. No "if" here: The Twins saved a lot of money on the Hunter and Santana contracts, and took the field under budget this year, if I am not mistaken.
A move must be made when Michael Cuddyer returns, unless there is an injury. It is unfortunate that the less-productive Mr. Lamb has the more significant contract, and that he does not play outfield. Removing Mr. Lamb doesn't lighten the outfield roster, and it seems that the best outfield would be Denard Span in left, Carlos Gomez in center and Mr. Cuddyer in right.
The ultimate result
By removing Mr. Monroe, Delmon Young could become a part-time outfielder, and DH against lefties. Neither Mr. Monroe nor Mr. Young has hit left-handers very well, which makes this scenario more difficult to accept, but it would seem that Mr. Young has more upside in most regards, so we have to hope for the best if this move were to be made.
And after watching Mr. Young in Boston, it would not surprise me if he had post-traumatic stress disorder. Had he not been wearing a Twins' uniform, his performance before the Green Monster would have amused me, and even though he was wearing a Twins uniform I was still mildly amused. He is not a good outfielder in any park at this point in his career - despite some Twins officials maintaining left field in the Dome is difficult to play - and the Twins improve with Mr. Span out there.
Teams need shortstops
I'm not sure who would replace Mr. Lamb on the roster, but barring a trade for a third baseman, Matt Macri played pretty well when he was up with the big team, and it is not as if there is so much AAA season remaining that we can say it would be a shame to deny him valuable playing time while he sits for long periods on the Twins' bench.
On a "too bad" note, the Twins once had an abundance of shortstops, and there are a couple of teams, Toronto and Los Angeles when I looked recently, who could really use a shortstop. Had Adam Everett played well and remained healthy, or if he were just healthy now, and had Matt Tolbert stayed healthy, or if he were healthy now, the Twins would have numerous options to trade, perhaps for a third baseman or reliever.