Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
It sounds like the Twins are serious about providing competition for their enigmatic third baseman.
The Twins have always seemed hesitant to hand over the reigns of a position full-time to a player who doesn't meet their standards. At times it's certainly justifiable, but that doesn't mean it can't be frustrating. In the case of the Minnesota Twins versus Trevor Plouffe, the front office has good reason for not wanting to turn a blind eye to the holes in Plouffe's game. From Phil Mackey's notebook:
Ryan confirmed Monday he has made progress this week on finding someone to push Plouffe. When asked if Plouffe's competition could be unveiled before the end of the winter meetings on Thursday, Ryan grinned and said, "Maybe."
"We need to create competition," he added. "I don't want to be flippant about that because I told Trevor that. I think it'll be good for him. He needs to compete and earn it."
It's difficult to even speculate on who the organization is closing in, but if you believe Ryan when he says that most of their budget is earmarked for pitching then there could very well be another trade in the works.
Plouffe needs to find a level of consistency that satiates his manager and front office. For the most part I imagine this translates to more consistent and better play defensively (he had negative metrics across the board at third base), while at the plate it probably translates to taking a few more good at-bats and not getting carried away. The power is there, and he's more than capable of being a supplementary power hitter who can bat sixth or seventh in the right lineup. He just needs to earn that job.