I've seen it multiple times today on Twitter that the Twins are saying they're not out on Michael Cuddyer yet. At first thought, I found myself envisioning an outfield of Willingham, Span, Cuddyer, with Revere playing all over the place, and it sounded like a good mix of power, speed, and defense. Besides, Cuddyer would provide the perfect Morneau insurance. But then it struck me that Cuddy is looking for at least $10 million dollars and I started thinking about all of the other things we could do with $10 million besides signing the guy we just signed a replacement for.
If the Twins really do have another $10 million to at least play around with, why in the WORLD wouldn't they make some sort of move for a top-of-the-rotation-starter?????! WE NEED PITCHING!!!!! Edwin Jackson, anyone? He might not be worth the $10-11 million he's gonna get, but what other options do we have on the free agent market. Rich Harden? I don't think so. I am in no way saying we need to sign Jackson, but this is a team that's starters finished second to last in ERA and has made absolutely no improvements to the staff. I think it's safe to say Liriano can and will pitch better, but will he be healthy, and where is this guy's head? Can Baker stay healthy? We haven't seen it yet. He was really good when healthy last year. Will Blackburn's sinker sink? Even if it does, he's a #4, maybe a #3 at best. Pavano isn't getting any younger and he didn't do much besides eat innings last year. His ERA was 4.30 with a 1.36 WHIP. Those are right at his his career number of 4.30/1.34. It's safe to say he'll be pretty average next year also, while still eating up innings, which is valuable in it's own sense. I fully expect Duensing to get moved back to the 'pen and focus on getting lefties out. That leaves Manship and Hendricks for the last two spots. That means one thing: We're in big, big trouble.
Now I fully expect the Twins to sign another 4/5 type starter (Joe Saunders, Jeff Francis, or Jon Garland), or a high-risk/ high-reward type (Rich Harden), but unless they pull off some sort of trade, we still have no 1/2 starters in the rotation. Liriano could be that guy and Baker could be pretty close to that guy, but there are a lot of if's for those two. Edwin Jackson would be more of a 2/3 type in my opinion but he throws hard and strikes out a lot of guys, while also walking a lot of guys. They always say, power pitching wins in October, and I'm a firm believer of that.
I guess my full point of this write-up was to say that if the Twins, in fact, do have another $10 million dollars floating around to play with, they sure as hell better be using that on a starter instead of an outfielder we don't really need anymore. It's hard to say I'd hate bringing back Cuddyer, but I would I firmly disagree with that decision when the money could be used elsewhere, primarily in the rotation. Not necessarily Edwin Jackson, but someone...ANYONE!!!!