I'm a little late to the party. As in, past fashionably late and into just plain rude late. And after all the great posts, I feel like there is not a whole lot for me to add. But I'll do it nonetheless. 1) Because I'm rude and 2) So I can use the word nonetheless.The more I think about this, the more I think the Twins have kind of screwed themselves for 2011. Mostly with the contracts to Cuddyer and ... Cuddyer. I mean Nathan's is a scary contract too (and I despise the save statistic) but you can't blame the front office for not having prophecy skills enough to see Tommy John coming. So, we'll get this money out of the way, because Mauer and Morneau aren't going anywhere and neither are Cuddyer or Nathan. So 110 minus 60 (60 F-ing Million Dollars. Awesome.) is 50.
Let most of the free agents go, because they'll be too pricey. Thome, Hudson, and Pavano were great but they're all gonna be at least 34 when the season starts, so the odds of all three repeating their success from this season is slim. And the bullpen ... well, we'll get to that.
Trade Kubel to the Athletics for Rajai Davis and whatever else they'll give us. I'm moving Delmon to DH because ... he's a terrible outfielder. I'm moving Span back to left. I actually wanted to trade Span, because I think that last season will be indicative of his actual level of playing going forward, but he's cheap and under contract. (I would trade him next offseason when hopefully Revere is ready.) Davis gives us better CF defense and speed and hits somewhere around where Span hits, so bat him first or last and I feel okay either way.
Sign Jose Lopez to a one year, incentive laden deal, with a base around 1.5 million. He was pretty bad last year, but so was everyone else playing for the Mariners (minus King Felix). Let him play second like he likes and see if his bat comes back. I think it's low-risk, high-reward if he hits like he did in 09 - .272/.303/.463 with 25 home runs. He doesn't walk much, but for a second baseman with a chance at 20+ home runs, I like it.
Bring back Hardy. Bottom line: His defense is as good as it gets and his bat is still better than most. And it's not like the Twins have any middle infielders waiting in the wings. (Sorry Plouffe.)
Fill the bench with Morales/Butera, Casilla, a 4th OF from Rochester, say Martin/Roberts/Dinkleman, and ... I think a big bat that doesn't mind sitting. Marcus Thames? Russell Branyan? Someone who you can get for around 2 million.
That's 67.5m give or take. And actually, I think 69 million when you count Harris. And we can add 2m for my own underestimations. So 71 million.
Lock up Liriano. I saw 4 years, 40 million. I'll take it. At 5/8/12/15? I don't know if that even makes sense. Let's call it 5 million this year. Baker at 5 (hopefully he can actually pitch like it), Blackburn and Slowely at 3. And Duensing at one dollar. Just kidding. But really 0.5. And please, Bill Smith, don't sign him to a four-year extension. I think that's a solid starting five and if Baker and Slowey pitch to their potential, I'd definitely call it above average. And at the grand ole price of 16.5 million. About six million less than the Met's pay Johan next year. And we're up to 87.5, which give us almost 30 million to blow on the bullpen.
Wait. Joe Nathan. So, 12.5 plus 87.5 and we're up to 100 million. 10 million for six spots. Mijares at almost 1. So 9 for 5 spots. I'm bringing back Crainwreck, hopefully at 4 million. And I'm trading Capps. Because 7 million is too much for a statistic. But I will bring in another 4 million dollar reliever. Scott Downs maybe? Now we're down to 1 million for 3 spots. Any combination of Neshek/Perkins/Slama/Waldrop/Delaney/Manship/Swarzak/Burnett should do. Seriously, just keep rotating them through. They're only in charge of the 6th inning. And sometimes other spots that I don't care to worry about right now.
Our hitting comes in at 71 million and our pitching at 40 million. Damn it. I'm a million over. Do you care? I don't.
Your 2011 Minnesota Twins at 111 million.
1. Span, LF, 1m
2. Davis, CF, 2.5m (could Gardy play an outfielder in the two-hole?)
3. Mauer, C, 23m
4. Young, DH, 5m
5. Morneau, 1B, 14m
6. Cuddyer, RF, 10.5m
7. Lopez, 2B, 1.5+m
8. Valencia, 3B, 0.5m
9. Hardy, SS, 6.5m
C Butera/Morales 0.5m
IF Casilla 0.5m
OF Martin/Roberts/Dinkleman 0.5 (I like Dinkleman here for his bat and because I think Roberts should play all year at AAA. But if you think more defense is necessary, maybe Martin's the better pick)
OTHER Thames/Branyan 2m
SP Liriano, 5m
SP Baker, 5m
SP Slowey, 3m
SP Blackburn, 3m
SP Duensing, 0.5m
CP Nathan, 12.5m