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Into the Crystal Ball

Have you ever considered what the Twins' order may look like if they didn't pursue outside free agents?  Here's some speculation for you.

What follows are best-case scenarios in a worst-case scenario.  Cap-strapped, let's assume Minnesota has to promote from within through 2008.  It's all hypothetical, so feel free to bitch and moan and debate all you like.  I've organized each of the seasons by position, player name and age on July 31 of that year.  I've extended backup players to be a fairly inclusive list of all those who may see decent time at the major league level.


It's hard enough to plan what could be in the future as far as 2008, but 2006 has questions enough already.  Still, it's the easiest year to emulate at this point.  Unable to supplement the roster from outside the franchise, the starting lineup looks pretty familiar.  Where the inexperience creeps in is on the bench.

1B:  Justin Morneau (25)
2B:  Michael Cuddyer (27)
3B:  Juan Castro (34)
SS:  Jason Bartlett (26)
C:  Joe Mauer (23)
DH:  Jason Kubel (24)
LF:  Shannon Stewart (32)
CF:  Torii Hunter (31)
RF:  Lew Ford (29)

C:  Mike Redmond (35)
IF:  Luis Rodriguez (26)
IF:  Nick Punto (28)
IF:  Garrett Jones (25)
IF:  Luis Maza (26)
OF:  Jason Tyner (29)
OF:  Alex Romero (22)


As Shannon Stewart's contract comes off the books, the Twins are busy restructuring Hunter's contract and settling arbitration cases with high-profile pitchers like Jesse Crain.  Mauer gets a new backup, and even more young players are thown into the mix as the franchise hopes they've found a solution at third base.  A couple of other highly-touted prospects peek their heads into the majors, but neither see regular duty.

1B:  Justin Morneau (26)
2B:  Luis Maza (27)
3B:  Matt Moses (22)
SS:  Jason Bartlett (27)
C:  Joe Mauer (24)
DH:  Daniel Matienzo (26)
LF:  Lew Ford (30)
CF:  Torii Hunter (32)
RF:  Jason Kubel (25)

C:  Sean Richardson (24)
IF:  Luis Rodriguez (27)
IF:  Trevor Plouffe (21)
IF:  Garrett Jones (26)
OF:  Alex Romero (23)
OF:  Denard Span (23)
OF:  Doug Deeds (25)


With Hunter's contract restructured, he shifts positions to make room for younger, more nimble players.  Minnesota manages to keep Morneau and Mauer together for at least one more year, but with the influx of talented outfielders Ford is allowed to find a new home.  Even more inexperienced youth has the weight of the world thrust upon their shoulders.

1B:  Justin Morneau (27)
2B:  Luis Maza (28)
3B:  Matt Moses (23)
SS:  Trevor Plouffe (22)
C:  Joe Mauer (25)
DH:  Jason Kubel (26)
LF:  Torii Hunter (33)
CF:  Denard Span (24)
RF:  Alex Romero (24)

C:  Eli Tintor (23)
C:  Sean Richardson (25)
IF:  Jason Bartlett (28)
IF:  Garrett Jones (27)
IF:  Luis Rodriguez (28)
IF:  Daniel Matienzo (27)
OF:  Doug Deeds (26)

There goes gravity...

...back to reality.  For the first time in as long as I can remember I'm quite optimistic that Terry Ryan and Carl Pohlad can make a move to make our offense better.  There are very few Untouchables right now, and there are plenty of pieces to be moved.

This was all just for fun.  I don't think anyone wants this scenario to actually play out.  If anyone out there would like to speculate as to how the rotation and bullpen may look over the next few years, I encourage you to go at it.