Its not big secret that the Twins need to acquire a utilityman or two this offseason. In fact, that could be arguably their biggest priority. With uncertainty abounding this winter, and free-agent dollars tight around the league, the Twins are reportedly considering a few unusual options for their open infield roles.
Reportedly, the Twins have reached out their gritty legend, offering him an opportunity to return the fanbase which most loved him. Punto is the perfect fit for this team, from a positional standpoint, as he played significant amounts of defensively successful shortstop, second base, and third base, all three of which positions the Twins incumbents have lingering injury issues. He also played a bit at first, and in all three outfield positions. The now 43-year old veteran last played in 2014, but the Twins’ front office is reportedly “not worried,” citing their recent success with over-40 players Nelson Cruz and Rich Hill.
Another veteran player the Twins have reached out, Ramirez might be a bit of a stretch, as he’s a career outfielder. However, here at Twinkie Town, we have been advocating he be signed to play shortstop for years. Apparently someone in the Twins front office has not only heard our suggestion, but are seriously considering it. We think they might be a bit confused though, given that Manny is now 48-years old and last played in 2011.
Rookie the Bat Dog
With the Yankees cutting the Trenton Thunder loose as an affiliate, the Twins have reached out about acquiring the Thunder’s most popular and well-known member, Rookie. While Rookie is trained to fetch bats, the team believes that he has the athleticism to hold down the hot corner, should Josh Donaldson be out for an extended period. When pressed on how he would be able to throw the ball to first, however, a member of the front office simply said “Rocco will figure something out.”
Like Punto, Bunyan is a Minnesota icon. Unlike Punto, he is not believed to have ever played professional baseball. A freelance scout, unemployed this past summer, reportedly saw Bunyan swinging an axe, and thought the power would translate into a baseball swing. As with many other prospects. his stature suggests he may not be able to stay at shortstop long-term, but he should be able to be an adequate bat-first third baseman.