It's February tomorrow. For teams who are still waiting to fill holes, it's crunch time. But it's been a busy weekend for the Twins, if only because more potential free agents have fallen by the wayside.
A couple of telling Tweets from Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune yesterday indicated that Minnesota probably won't be bringing back Joe Crede, even at a discounted price. The Twins "would rather give those ABs to [Brendan] Harris and eventually [Danny] Valencia", which indicates one of two things to me. Either A) the Twins feel like Valencia is knocking on the doorstep and will actually take over third base at some point this summer or B) being able to bank on health and consistency is more valuable than hoping that Crede's gold glove could stay on the field.
In addition to Crede not coming back, Orlando Cabrera has agreed to a one-year contract with the Reds worth $4 million ($3 million for 2010 plus a $1 million buyout of the 2011 option). One of the reasons he chose the Reds was because he wasn't willing to shift to second base, which is what Ron Gardenhire proposed last year and what, apparently, the Rockies wanted him to do. For a lot of Twins fans this means we're breathing a sigh of relief.
Melvin Mora agreed to sign with the Rockies, Orlando Hudson apparently would rather play for the Nationals than a contender (even though they're only offering a third of his asking price), and Felipe Lopez...well, the only thing that's been mentioned about Lopez is that SI's Jon Heyman thinks he'll wind up with the Cardinals.
The bottom line, at least right now, is that even if the Twins are comfortable standing pat with who they have to man the hot corner, it's still a buyer's market if you're a team looking for a second baseman. With both Hudson and Lopez still hanging around, with guys like Adam Kennedy (free agent) and Jose "that OTHER" Lopez (apparently available from the Mariners) around to water down any bidding wars, conditions are ripe for somebody to reap some financial benefits.
Yet the Twins have kept things pretty close to the vest, and we're all aware of the organization's confidence of the guys already on the roster. If someone doesn't fall into their lap at this point, the smart money would be on Minnesota going forward with what they already have.