I love our Twins, I love the TC logo, and TC Bear. I will miss the dome, but embrace Target Field (Not to be mistaken for Target Center...Geniuses). I long for many more seasons of the M n M boys, because frankly just M boy is kind of boring, but as a Twins fan, I am used to being let down, and I am afraid to say it, but this offseason is going to be no different.
If the Pohlad family are good for anything, it's proving that they can get by on the cheap with this organization. They have won numerous Division titles on low budget teams. Why should this offseason be any different? They proved that with just a tweak in house and adding a low risk veteran they can make an improbable push and win yet another division pennant. The problem is that many Minnesota fans are saying, "enough is enough." Why should we settle for "One-and-Done's" when other teams are continuously getting better. We need to go out and at least add a strong pitcher. I hear Lackey is going to be available, and hell, I'd be satisfied with a Bedard or Harden. We need to solidify the middle infield. Valencia at Third sounds nice for next year, and lets pair him next to Tejada, and put Casilla back at second. He may not be any better than Punto, but at least he has an upside. I'm tired of giving Punto chance after chance to waiver around the Mendoza line, and never come up clutch. Casilla didn't play well, but at least he could improve. Punto is going nowhere fast, but yet Gardy's affection for mediocre utility players with below average bats (Which is what he was), continues to pencil him in somewhere. Maybe after Mauer leaves, and trots off into the sunset to fade into the crowd in NY or LA we can try Punto behind the plate. At least catchers aren't expected to produce with the bat. Tejada may be a pipe dream, but it would be nice. People continue to talk about trading for the likes of an Uggla, or a JJ Hardy, but we really don't have much to offer a team that we can afford to give up. Sure we could dump off a starting pitcher, but look how well that worked for us in the Garza deal. I'd rather get something for Gomez and potentially Crain or Liriano, but I don't see us snagging a starting second basemen or shortstop above what we have now. Maybe JJ Hardy would come for that, but Uggla? No way. We need to shore up one of those spots; however, maybe putting some money into a free agent second basemen like Orlando Hudson isn't a bad idea. We have a few SS's that could platoon with Harris and Punto at short, or maybe we resign Cabrera, making our infield look a little better at the plate, even if Cabrera is an adventure in the field. I would like the looks of a Vilencia, Cabrera, Hudson, Morneau infield, or maybe a Vilencia, Tejada, Casilla/Cabrera, Morneau. I don't care who or what as long as they are an upgrade, and can cause us to be rid of Punto.
My other concern is our Outfield. It's a good concern, but a concern nonetheless. We have Cuddy, Span, Gomez, and Young all outfielders, as well as Kubel who will probably stay predominately DH again, as he should. Cuddy is obvious at right field, that makes perfect sense, and if we keep Gomez, and he can be semi consistent, even if he's only hitting .230 or .240, he would be center field, and then we would have Span in left, leaving Delmon Young the odd man out. Some people are ok with this, and think we should trade him, coming off a hot end of the season. I couldn't deny that is an intriguing idea, but I don't think the market for a slow, limpy, clumsy left fielder is that high, especially one with mediocre hitting abilities. I say we either A) Trade Morneau (OMG) and put Cuddy at first, leaving Young in his natural right field, or B) Trade Cuddy (Slight OMG) and put you guessed it, Young in his natural right field. Young played right all through out his career in Tampa Bay, and then he gets here and we throw him in left. Doesn't make sense to me. Let me look back to my two aforementioned trade scenarios for a minute. Trade one was getting rid of M n M number two Justin Morneau, which is a sickening thought, but he has a high value, which would bring us potentially a starting pitcher, or a good relief pitcher and some prospects, and would free up some money. Cuddy showed that at least for a short time, he could play first more than serviceable. I was impressed, and like I stated before we could get a decent amount for Morneau. The other deal, which makes much more sense, is trade away Michael Cuddyer who still has some high value, which would net us either a solid position player and a prospect or two or a strong pitcher and a prospect or two, or a few prospects. I would hate to see him go, but we need to cut something in order to position ourselves for a strong season next year. Especially when you have Detroit, Chicago, and Kansas City all sporting solid to extremely good starting rotations.
As a Minnesotan, I'm tired of falling victim to the "Middling infielder at low cost," or "Veteran arm to add some leadership," scenario that this team is pulling. It's a scam to say we brought in Ramon Ortiz, or Livan Hernandez for any other reason than to save some coins. Come on Twins, open things up a bit. Let's see a strong offseason, not a boring one.