With pitchers and catchers reporting in just a few weeks, there are still a few things left for Minnesota to tackle.
Starting Pitching: As Howard Sinker notes in his latest blog entry (now Section 219), the fifth rotation spot is still up for grabs. Big names like Ben Sheets and Erik Bedard are still available, but our old buddy Jarrod Washburn is probably on speed dial. No doubt this could still be seen as a priority, but is it more important than...
Third Base: Right now we're looking at a combination of Brendan Harris and Matt Tolbert, with a bit of Nick Punto and maybe some Daniel Valencia thrown in. This is a position that is still very easy to upgrade, no matter which side of the equation you want to look at. Joe Crede and his Gold Glove-esque defensive whiz skills are still available, and so is veteran Miguel Tejada whose offensive upside might be a little more tempting. The Twins still haven't had a regular third baseman since Corey Koskie, and that's now officially half a decade and running.
Second Base: Almost as much a source of frustration as third base, at least Luis Castillo was around for a season and a half. Two of the best free agent upgrades still available, Felipe Lopez and Orlando Hudson, are second baseman...and there are very few second base jobs available. Of course, Adam Kennedy seems to have drawn some interest recently as well. Does the number of viable options still available make this a bigger priority, or a smaller one?
Fourth Outfielder: With a young and inexperienced bench going forward without another move, and Jason Kubel not really any more of a viable fielder than Delmon Young, bringing in a good and versatile outfielder who's resume includes time in center field has to be on your mind. Rocco Baldelli has the coolest name, Xavier Nady has a history of good defense, Randy Winn is my own personal favorite and, as of yesterday, Eric Byrnes is available. Is Johnny Damon even in the conversation? As it stands only Denard Span can play center field, and he's also the only outfield defender who can run.
For a fairly comprehensive list of the best names still available on the market, check out Jerry Crasnick's rundown. Also, for the record, I don't think a lot of the names I've mentioned are really in the conversation for the Twins--but there are still a number of realistic scenarios that could play themselves out over the next few weeks.
Besides extending Joe Mauer (which, let's admit it, is all number one on our minds), what do you think the Twins' top priority should be heading into spring training?
Add another starting pitcher (94 votes)
Add an everyday third baseman (307 votes)
Add an everyday second baseman (222 votes)
Find a fourth outfielder (34 votes)
I think we're already in a good position (33 votes)
690 total votes