Solving the Twins' utility role(s)

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

One thing on the forefront of our offseason minds is the need to replace Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza as multi-positional pieces. So, with this piece, I have three objectives:

1. Provide a quick snap-shot of replacement players...who have been discussed (from what I’ve read).

2. Try my hand at a FanPost. I have been a long time reader and am hoping to get more involved with the TwinkieTown community.

3. Get your thoughts on my suggestions for the front office.

Without further ado:

*All salary projections and WAR projections come from Fangraphs*

First, what has been discussed?

1. Minor League/Spring Training Invites (Lin, Riddle):

a. The least sexy option and one that should only come into play if things have gone VERY wrong. These guys are depth pieces.

2. Minor League internal options/Prospects (Blankenhorn, Gordon, Lewis, Astudillo):

a. We could throw the young guys to the wolves and hope they can contribute. However, with championship (or, rather, one-playoff-win) aspirations, these guys should wait for now.

3. Sign a Free Agent to play SS, move Polanco or Arraez to UTL (Gregorius, Semien, Simmons)

a. First: this will cost between $14 and $16 million and (probably) multiple years.

b. Second: this could block Lewis.

c. Third: WAR projects ALL of these guys (the FAs and current Twins) to be in the same ballpark (2.5 - 3 WAR)

d. Fourth: I don’t buy Polanco or Arraez serving as utility players. If anything, sign Semien to serve as a utility guy..

4. Sign a Utility Free Agent (Profar, La Stella, Hernandez, Galvis):

a. Again, cost (Galvis at $5M, Hernandez/La Stella at $7M, and Profar at $9M) and WAR (1 - 2 WAR) suggest these guys may be overrated. Plus, with multiple teams vying for these guys, prices may raise further.

5. Trade for a Utility player

a. Chris Taylor (LAD) projects for 2 WAR and wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

b. Ketel Marte (ARI) projects for 3.5 WAR but his trade value, according to the Trade Simulator, is 61 (which is almost equivalent to Kirilloff + Duran).

So what am I proposing? Why??

1. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jonathan Villar

a. Both guys project to about 1 WAR (slightly less than alternative options).

b. We could get BOTH guys for about $8 - $10 million (almost half of alternative options).

c. Cabrera plays a decent 1B and 3B and can play up the middle in a pinch.

d. Villar plays a decent 2B and SS and even played some CF recently (a HUGE plus - I think we need an upgrade over Cave and Kepler as Buxton insurance).

e. Cabrera brings decent plate discipline and quite a bit of postseason experience (a necessity for this team).

f. Villar brings some MUCH needed speed (20 SB potential).

g. Added bonus: they both are switch hitters, which can help our right-handed heavy lineup.

*Back up option: Hanser Alberto (projected for 1 WAR and $1.5 million and plays everywhere except C and CF)*

Ultimately, if we found a reasonable trade for Taylor or Marte, I wouldn’t be upset. I, however, find that unlikely and think we would be better served allocating money instead of prospects to strengthen the team.

What do you think of Cabrera and Villar? Who would you like the Twins to sign to serve in the utility role(s)?