Everything worth saying has been said before. Every potential move has been mentioned. Every desperate attempt at shoring up the fan base has been made. We even heard that playing the Orioles and Royals would help. If by “help” we meant help to establish that this year’s team is completely lost, then yes, indeed, playing the Orioles and Royals did help. It’s time to prepare for the trade deadline….but let’s not feel obligated to wait….let’s get those phonelines burning.
I’ve changed my mind about one player, Berrios (and I didn’t steal that take from a StarTribune columnist, though I do share it with at least one, who also believes Berrios has value). Last week, I would’ve said trade them all….each of them, don’t worry that much about “value” coming back, as I’m not seeing any “value” in front of my eyes. Maybe a few weeks back, that was simply the irrational whining of a Twins fan who had expectations, even mild expectations. Sadly, some of you had high expectations, and you must be truly hurting about now. As for me, my expectations were milder, to perhaps win one playoff game, but alas, even those have been dashed for this season.
So, negative or not, it’s time for a wholesale fire sale. My untouchable list is short and is as follows: Berrios, Arraez, Larnach, Kirilloff, Lewis and….TC Bear. Everyone else….EVERYONE else is available, and yes that includes Buxton. I’ve seen the same movie over and over and I cannot keep expecting different results. Arraez is a good player, and I see genuine potential in Larnach, and Kiriloff, and I’m unwilling to give up on Lewis, and TC Bear. As for Berrios, he’s not a number one starter, and though this is damning with the faintest of praise: Berrios is by far our best starting pitcher. Given the importance of pitching, it would seem appropriate to consider building a new rotation around him…..not necessarily “behind” him….but around him, as in one or two in front of him, and then two or three behind him in the rotation.
Maeda could go or stay….doesn’t much matter for this year. I’d be fine with keeping him, but he is certainly not on the untouchable list. It would appear that the American League may have caught up with him, or he’s got physical issues, or both, or neither, but whatever, I can’t be convinced he’s untouchable. Polanco, Kepler, Sano, Garver (Good Lord, was his injury both painful and symbolic of where this team and its fans have been kicked this year?) Anyway, lost my train of thought there….I mean, that hurt….but my point remains the same, they may be lovely fellows, with great families, and some even have team-friendly contracts….but from what I’ve seen this year….none of those contracts have been fan-friendly.
Astudillo….of course I love him, we all love him….and if he stays…fine, but if a reasonable offer is made….can any of us actually suggest he’s untouchable? Cleaning house means cleaning house. This doesn’t appear to be the year in which the steady turtle will be catching the hares of the American League. Actually, the more I consider this, the more danger TC Bear may be in, as La Tortuga could be both a utility player and the mascot….save your money TC, nothing is assured in this life.
There’s nothing left. This team is injured beyond repair, and perhaps they’re just not that good, even if they were healthy. So….once Buxton returns, it’s time to play him a couple of games to showcase him and then trade him before he gets hurt again….and he will get hurt again.
It’s time to see if anyone would take the Donaldson contract, the Simmons contract, and quite frankly anyone else’s contract. We all love Nelson….but for the love of God, and all that is decent, give the man an escape….he can’t have many quality years of baseball left, and this is most assuredly not a quality year. It’s got to be painful for him, regardless of how great a guy he is. Give the man hope. Give the man a reprieve.
Whatever teams clamoring to take on Dobnak, or any other starter, or any of the relievers are welcome to make offers. No reasonable offers should be refused. Actually, it’s possible that even unreasonable offers should be considered. Could we be worse? Of course, we could, I said as much a couple of weeks back, and we proved that we could indeed be worse. But could we be worse than this?
Once the bottom falls out, is there a new bottom? Not to wade into politics, but….if others go high, can we go even lower than low? Could Sano strike out more? It’s possible I suppose. Could our bullpen be less dependable….hardly, but I suppose it’s possible. Could Buxton hurt himself while rehabbing his latest injury thus delaying his return? Almost certainly, I fully expect it.
In sum, I’m old, I know I seem cranky, but I’m really not, I’ve seen lots of bad Twins teams, there are more important things in life than a bad year of baseball. I’ve lived through the early 1980s and late 1990s…..those teams were horrific, but they had the luxury of zero expectations. This team has basically told those bad teams…. “Here, hold my beer.” You think you’ve seen bad baseball played by minor leaguers not quite ready for primetime? You haven’t seen anything yet. Those bad teams, as I’ve previously mentioned, had hope for a bright future, does this team? Again, Larnoch, Kiriloff, Arraez, Lewis, Berrios….and a total reboot from there. Let’s start over….what could possibly go wrong?