I know its late, its late in the game. Our FA moves and money pool is all but taken care of. We're composed, healthy, focused and energized for the upcoming season. Soley focusing on ST and all the players, aside from just the pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. Our front office thinks we're likely all "tapped out" financially but in the same token seems to feel comfortable with the roster they've assembled and patched up. Sure I'd personally rather spend 75-90 Million a year TOPS then purge over the Century mark. More than a 100 $ Million dollar payroll makes me cringe a bit.
Joel Zumaya is no sure thing, in fact he may not pitch more than a dozen innings of baseball for the Twins in the regular season. The bullpen? I'm not too worried about it, with 97 players in camp this year, i think 1 of Burton, Wise, Bulger, Gray, Thompson could really fill some shoes. Plus, we have so many relief pitchers already in the org. in the AA / AAA levels....Guys like Gutierrez, Burnett, Guerra, Waldrop, Bromberg surely 1 of them will break out.
With a healthy Capps and Perkins leading the way i'm confident if we're winning and things are going Extremely well we'll be able to find another Brian Fuentes at the Trade Deadline in July/ August to give us that extra punch. (and more importantly Perkins some rest)
Where my issue enlies is the starting rotation: Baker, Pavano, Liriano, and Marquis and Blackburn are who they are. More or less they eat innings when healthy, pitch to contact, give up homers but not walks and are comfortable surrendering runs. Its largely the Twins way, and i'm fine with the philoshpy its worked and is proven, even if the game is evolving a bit. But i just don't forsee Liriano being the 2010 version again. At least not any time soon. He seems to have lost a little bit of passion, his fire, and even his youth. He doesn't work out, he doesn't stay in top end shape, he doesn't do the things we need him to do and the person we need him to be well enough. Scott Baker on the other hand is the opposite, but is he durable enough to withstand a 200+ inning season while not losing his affectivness in a post-season series? , its hard to say. Pavano is getting up in age, its well documented he's lost 2 MPH's on his Fastball his K rates are continuing to spiral downward and he can't be the horse at the top end of one's rotation any longer. He's more of a #3 or #4 starter today. Blackburn could bounce back, hopefully in a big way. But Roy Oswalt, 1 season of Roy Oswalt could be a game changer. He's a proven horse, or poney who brings a strikeout rate not present with any of our current starters. Assuming his back doesn't bark up he's a guy even at his advanced age who should front our staff in both quality and quantity of innings pitched. (assuming Pav doesn't go 220 IP again)
If the Twins think Joel Zumaya is a well suited calculated risk for this club, I don't see how Roy Oswalt at less than six or seven million is any different. Especially for 1 season.
I'm not saying I know what he and his agent are asking for in a deal, it was believed to have come down below the $ 9 Million dollar mark and dropping last I read/heard about a month ago.