We, as fans, have put up with some pretty nasty performances from the Twins players the last few...months. With the trade deadline fast approaching (tomorrow at 3 PM), the Twins need to clear house.
1. Nick Punto - SS/2B: Yet again, Twins fans have had to put up with a below replacement level player for yet another year. In the offseason, Punto was signed to, not a one year, but two year deal worth $8 million. Not only is Punto futile with the bat, but even his defense, which in the past has made up for his non existent bat, has faded into oblivion. Hopefully, we manage to shift some trades in the next 15 hours that will relugate Punto into his former futility, I mean utility, role or maybe even to another team.
2. Alexi Casilla - 2B: Last year, after being sent down early in spring training, Casilla came up and wow'd the Twins staff with his consistent play in the field and at the plate. Casilla experienced a power surge and a great ability to turn in excellent plate appearances hitting in front of Mauer and Morneau. This year however, Casilla has come back down to earth and has gone into h... Casilla is hitting around .175 and has made mulitiple boneheaded plays in the field. Casilla's time in a Twins uniform is numbered.
3. Brian Buscher - 3B/1B: After battling with various opponents the past few years for priority of the 3B position. However, with the signing of Joe Crede, Buscher was relugated to the bench. As a result, Buscher has rarely gotten any plate appearances and in the few appearances that he has had, it has not been pretty. With Crede and Harris able to play 3B this season, and with Valencia waiting to be the starting 3B in 2010, Buscher is the odd man out and should be traded to make the most of his career.
4. Brian Duensing - RP/SP: Duensing has not had a great major league career so far, costing many games for the Twins. With the talent in the minors, what with Delany and Slama, Duensings only use is in the rotation. However, we have Baker/Slowey/Blackburn/Swarzak/Perkins/Liriano. Of course, with the recent "inflammation" to Liriano's elbow, Duensing has slid into a starting role. Maybe he should stay put but I would rather package him off.
5. Nick Blackburn - SP: Yes, I do believe Blackburn should be traded. In my mind, he is a younger version of Carlos Silva. Lots of ground balls, not many walks, lots of hits, not many strikeouts...this line just cannot last, and I believe that his recent two games is just the beginning of the arrival to earth for Blackburn. We all have seen what has happened to Carlos Silva, we saw Silva when he was with the Twins too. Its time to package Blackburn while he still has some trade value. If the Twins are really going to follow up Morneau's statements about the future being now, then this is what they should do to bring in players.
6. Jesse Crain - RP: I will make this short and sweet...Jesse Crain's days are over.
Edit (Friday): 7. Delmon Young - OF: Delmon has high potential just not with the Twins. DY refuses to listen to the coaches and persists of being a sullen egomaniac. Delmon could have a nice career, but with Gomez/Span/Cuddyer/Kubel + Hicks/Revere/Morales in the wings, Delmon has no future with this ballclub.
The Twins are currently looking at Adam Kennedy, David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, and a few pitchers, both starters and relievers, though mostly relievers. However, in order to free up roster space, the Twins have to clean house before they can bring in any of those players...
Ideally, the Twins get Scutaro and Downs from the Blue Jays and Adam Kennedy from the A's. They also manage to put together a deal for a reliable starting pitcher. Then, they bring up Mark Grudzielanek as a bench player, replacing Punto/Casilla/Buscher.