Some of you may remember way back in October that I stated the Twins were likely to take the spectator role this offseason, and not do much, but maybe bring in a Veteran Leader, and a "Gamer" type player to light a fire under Punto. Well, it now appears that I will be feasting on Crow at every Twins game this year. I was pumped beyond belief when I heard that we had traded for JJ Hardy, even if we were getting rid of possibly the player with the biggest upside to get him. Gomez was an outstanding fielder, who busted his ass for the ball every time it was hit anywhere near his range. I loved watching his smooth running style, and will miss his post game interviews. Peanut Butter mouth had one glaring weakness. He was impatient. If he can get some patience at the plate, he's going to be a force in the MLB, but enough waxing nostalgic about GoGo. We finally have a legit SS again, but I knew Free Agency couldn't end there or we were looking down the barrel of another one and done. That being said, we waited a while, let things simmer a bit, and then signed Jim Thome to be a Pinch Hitter, and bat off the bench. A nice predicament to be in, to have two DH's capable of jacking 25 to 30 a year. I wouldn't argue if I were Ron Gardenhire, and I'm sure he's not either. Finally the icing on the cake for the season is the signing of Orlando Hudson. After spending the better part of two weeks reading he was going to be a National or a Ray at 9 million dollars, I was shocked to log onto the internet and find out today that he came to Minnesota for 5 million. That now gives us a legit batting order top to bottom. Plus, if the rumors are true, we still have an offer on the table for Jarrod Washburn, and he is interested in joining the Twins, but is still weighing his options. If he does come to Minnesota, that would make one of our young pitchers *Cough*Perkins*Cough* expendable. We are now in the luxury of offering a package of Perkins Cassilla, or Perkins Prospect, for a third baseman, or extra outfielder, and then either roll with Harris/Tolbert/Punto, or sign a Crede and wait on Vallencia. Frankly I'm not overly concerned, as I think Harris will be ok at Third, and we can put him at the bottom of the order, and not have to worry, and if you do go this route we can put Perkins in the bullpen, and then we have an extra arm there, and Alexi C. can still work on getting better, and maybe be our future second basemen we thought he'd be two years ago. Or we could not sign Washburn all together, and just go into the season as is, and I'd still be quite comfortable. No matter how you shake it, our lineup will be quite potent.
Jason Kubel/Jim Thome
To me the only glaring holes are the bottom two slots, but I expect Hardy to turn it around, now that there is no sure shot replacement breathing down his neck, and Harris' bat is mediocre, and Punto shows flares of mediocre AB's at times, although he's usually well below average. But still one easy out is way better than the 4 or 5 we had last year.