FanPost

Why didn't the Twins give this guy a shot at winning the 3B job?


Hank Blalock signed a minor league deal today with the Rays to compete for a back up spot at 3B and 1B. Why the hell didn't the Twins give this guy a shot? He signed a Minor League deal. Last season he hit .234 with 25 HR and 66 RBI. I know he is no stud in the field, but my guess is that he would be fairly comparable to Brendan Harris. His offense could be such an upgrade (and at virtually no cost) it seams like a no brainer to sign the guy and give him at least a chance of winning the starting spot at third. I don't get it.

Full story after the jump:

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Hank Blalock will get an opportunity to rekindle his career with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The two-time All-Star agreed to a minor league contract and reported to spring training on Tuesday.

Blalock hit .234 with 25 homers and 66 RBIs in 123 games for the Texas Rangers last year. He missed much of the previous two seasons with injuries and is a .269 career hitter with 152 homers and 535 RBIs.

Tampa Bay thinks the 29-year-old infielder could provide an additional left-handed hitting option and bolster the club's depth at first and third.

"We're excited to add Hank to the mix. He's got tremendous power and a guy we feel has a lot of upside," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in Sarasota, where Tampa Bay was playing an exhibition against the Baltimore Orioles.

"We're anxious to get him started and see what we've got and put him in a position to compete for a job," he said.

Blalock spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Rangers. He was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004.

"He looks like he's in great shape," Rays manager Joe Maddon said before the game.

Maddon conceded it may be difficult for Blalock to play his way onto the 25-man roster by early April, when the regular season begins.

"But things change. He could come out and do a really good job or he could look really good and all of a sudden he's going to make us think differently," the manager said. "Somebody could get hurt. Obviously that enhances his chances. All those things are possible."

Blalock's contract includes an option that would allow him to opt out and seek a job with another team if he doesn't wind up on the 25-man roster.

"I'm much more focused on the player and how it may potentially impact us," Friedman said. "But what I will say is at the end of spring if there is not a 25-man spot for him, and there is somewhere else, we're not going to stand in the way."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

Story can be found here: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4979723

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