Thome Gone; Kubel Next?

GOODBYE JI


As you've no doubt heard by now, Jim Thome has been traded to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later. The future Hall of Famer goes back to where it all started for him and (barely) back into a pennant race: Cleveland is 63-64 and 6.5 games back of Detroit. Per Bill Smith in the Strib, the Twins will find out who the PTBNL is by October 15th.

The reaction in Twins Territory seems to be a cocktail of disappointment (that Thome is no longer on the team), appreciation (for what he brought to the team and that he gets an outside chance at a World Series title), and blind, impotent rage (FIRE BILL SMITH/GARDY/JOE MAUER/LIRIANO/TC BEAR!!!!111eleven!!).

Meanwhile, what of Jason Kubel, Professional Hitter ? We think we know that the White Sox put in a waiver claim on him. But according to Judd Zulgad at 1500ESPN, it's unlikely the Twins and Sox will reach a deal as the former's asking price is too high. Kenny Williams doesn't seem to anticipate him being on the South Side, either.

Obviously, there will be have to be major changes this off-season. One of the questions that has to be answered: can the Twins upgrade their pitching staff AND keep JK,PH, much less Michael Cuddyer? If I had my druthers, I'd bid Cuddy farewell, keep Kubel, and throw all that sweet new stadium money at CJ Wilson and anyone else they can find. In my mind, the worst-case scenario is keeping Cuddyer, letting Kubel go, and rolling with the 2011 rotation, in the vain hope that good health is all they need to be effective.

I worry that that last scenario is also the most likely to come true. Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated in the comments section.

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