need an to improve the rotation significantly from last place AL ERA in 2011. The Twins do not have an Ace (#1 starting pitcher). Liriano could be that guy or he could be a #3-5 who is not to be relied on in the playoffs.
Baker looks like a solid #3.
Pavano is a plus #4 who saves our bullpen.
Blackburn is the definition of a #5.
That leaves Duensing, Swarzak, Hendriks, Diamond and Maloney, none of which are #2 starters. So, if you follow my logic (I don't blame you if you don't), the twins need to pick up a #2 starter if they want to take the easiest path to improving the rotation. Possiple targets after the brake.
Possible #2 Free agents to target. They need to be in our price range (10M/yr or less) and willing to sign for 2yrs or less. Two years because we need to keep the option of completely rebuilding open. 10M because we are at about 89M now with Capps in the fold. So, if they are going to stay at 100M or less thats what we have to work with. Guys I would like to target and for how much;
(34) on a 2yr 14M deal.
(37) on 2yr 14M or 1yr 9M or less.
Sign either of these guys and say goodbye Cuddy and Kubs. (not to say that we shouldn't be prioritizing our rotations glaring need over our glut of outfielders... I digress)
Cheaper (riskier) options;
(30) on a 1yr for 2M or less. (Please do this Twins org. because he may actually be a #2)
(33) on a 1yr 3M (Not a #2 but could be better than a #5 and knows the division)
Chris Ryan Young (32) on a minor league deal or 1yr for 1M. (most likely will not last the season but he mostlikely will produce wins while pitching)
(33) on a minor league deal or 1yr for 1M. (Any info on what happened to him in Texas would be appreiated and may temper or peak my interest.)
There are other pitchers out there but these are the free agents I like.
Other options include; trades for a #2 (not with our recent history of trading thank you very much), relying on luck - hoping that Duensing, Swarzak, Hendriks, Diamond or Maloney prove to be better then a #5-6. Or, to get creative with the back end of the rotation and carry six starters using them as a platoon of sorts Duensing against Left heavy teams and a righty against everyone else.
The Twins rotation as is, is far below average and needs improvement. I would love to hear yours thoughts.