Another name to toss into the hat in my never ending quest for a reasonable and realistic Twins pick-up.
I don't want to talk about these last two games with the Tigers. The offense has let us down and bears the brunt of the blame for both losses, and Wednesday's loss is far more difficult to swallow simply because we had chances. The Tigers are making us look the the team we really are, and that reality is hard to face when I want to go to bed soon. That's enough for now.
Scott Hatteberg is a 37-year old who, these days, mostly plays first base. He's making $1.5 million in 2007 (with a $1.85 million option for '08), bats left-handed and plays for our bestest trade buddies the Cincinnati Reds. Here's how he looks this year against his career:
Split AB H 2B HR BB SO Avg Obp Slg
2007 240 74 15 8 37 22 .308 .406 .471
Career 4053 1106 234 104 543 483 .273 .362 .411
Between last year and this summer's campaign, Hatteberg is playing over his head. For his career he's an on-base, station-to-station offensive player; in most circumstances it's best to look at the body of work as a whole, and as such we shouldn't put too much stock into what's been a very solid year statistically. Still, there are a number of positive things about a Hatteberg trade. His price isn't out of Minnesota's range (a good pick-up line for any potential player on TR's list), and even if he regresses to his career numbers in the second half he's still an upgrade at DH.
If the Twins were able to grab Hatteberg and Ty Wigginton, they would be immediate upgrades (and characteristic Twins-quality moves) and automatically make the bench stronger as a result:
Gardenhire's Likely Lineup My Preference
- Castillo 1. Castillo
- Bartlett 2. Hatteberg
- Mauer 3. Mauer
- Cuddyer 4. Morneau
- Morneau 5. Hunter
- Hunter 6. Cuddyer
- Wigginton 7. Wigginton
- Hatteberg 8. Kubel
- Kubel/Ford/Tyner 9. Bartlett
This would leave you with a bench of Redmond, Punto, Cirillo and two of the following four: Jones, Ford, Tyner and Rondell White if he ever gets healthy.
I'm not sure where the Twins sit right now in regards to the buyer/seller position. Two games ago things were looking good, but right now the Tigers own an eight game lead in the AL Central, and the Twins are six out of the Wild Card spot. Large moves for players such as Adam Dunn or Mike Lowell would be a long shot no matter what Minnesota's position in the standings, but as mediocrity continues to bare its ugly face and there's no seperation from the pack those long shots are even less likely. If that's possible.
What's left for moves are marginal. Clear upgrades are available but unless one of them catches fire, those upgrades aren't of the impact we'd like to see as fans. Players like Jeff Conine, Scott Hatteberg, Ty Wigginton and Dmitri Young are more than likely the cream of the crop for the Twins right now, but even though any one of them isn't going to help perhaps two of them could provide more of a spark. It's hard to say.
If you heard Torii Hunter on Dan Barreiro this afternoon on KFAN, he prefers Dmitri Young. All things considered, so do I.