As the intense disappointment of another first round exit starts to fade, I'm finally starting to find more enthusiasm in offseason speculation than I thought I would (But then again, I did last season as well...stop...). The first thing that came to mind was the need for an ace. Living in the past and wondering what could have been with Cliff Lee is fine, but for the present and future, Zack Greinke has come to mind. He'd not only likely resolve the ace problem, but I think he'd love to play for the Twins. He griped during the season about being stuck with so many "rebuilding" Royals squads, it's clear he wants to play for a winner. If I'm not mistaken, he's under contract for a few more years, so he'd be more than a rental.
Personally, I'd offer a package of Blackburn, a reliever who might walk anyway (Rauch? Guerrier?), and maybe a disposable prospect.
As for free agent signings and retainments, has anyone else considered the value of keeping Brian Fuentes? I know he has a unique contract feature and was considered a rental when he arrived, but he pitched so excellently throughout the late season and playoffs that I say we keep him in place of a reliever or two. I think he really relished his time with the team this season and enjoys being in Minnesota, especially after all the fuming from Angels fans. He, Thome, and Pavano would be my off-season "musts." I'm also entirely for keeping Hardy, especially since it looks like Hudson will walk.
I dunno...maybe I'm not entirely up to snuff on everyone's status. I'm particularly curious as to where the bullpen might go. And goddamn, I know I'll be alone on this, but I'm interested in the idea of having Clay Condrey again as long as he's healthy. I know he was just a pick-up and it felt like we wasted $900,000 on an injured pitcher we probably didn't really need, but he's one of the better long-relievers in the game and would be worth a shot if enough people leave. A healthy Joe Nathan will be fantastic as well!
Also, what are our outfield options? I think it's time for Kubel to go, especially with a .069 playoff average. Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth would be awesome in his place, although I'm guessing either would be impossible.
What say you? Discuss.