Kamie’s recent article addressed the Twins situation with Royce Lewis. If you haven’t read the article, you should. I won’t summarize it here, beyond the need to address what to do with Royce Lewis once Correa comes back from the IL. What I will do, is expand on Kamie’s notion and the reason and rational thought presented therein, with my own suggestions that more likely border on the unreasonable and irrational.
Baseball is the ultimate long-term game in which the need not to overreact to great weeks and/or horrible weeks goes without saying, yet I find myself saying it (if only in the many conversations I have in my own head).
But, in the end, what fun is being reasonable? Let’s explore something that many (no doubt, reasonable people) will view as entirely reactive, irrational, and possibly criminally negligent.
Before I delve into the possibly insane, let me begin with a simple fact: Lewis has been excellent. He has, at least in his first big league action, exceeded my expectations. Given his last couple years of serious injuries combined with Covid-related minor-league inactivity, I suspect he may have exceeded yours as well. This allows me to consider radical solutions to problems, both real and perceived.
Doing something radical based on barely more than a week of Royce Lewis’ contributions might seem insane, and probably is, but championship seasons require aggressive thinking, and the short-term success of Royce Lewis presents an opportunity that we hadn’t previously thought possible.
Here goes: the answer to “what do we do with Royce Lewis?” is that the Twins play him at shortstop, believe in him as the long-term shortstop for the Twins, and…gasp…trade Correa. Radical? Certainly. Brilliant? Probably not, but I ask your patience for just a few more paragraphs as we flush this out.
It was amazing when the Twins signed Correa. Amazing. Less amazing, sure, that it’s basically a one-year contract, particularly if Correa reverts to his long-term All-Star form. But just because it shook the foundation of Twins fans, doesn’t mean we can’t revisit it, even this early. The very fact that the Twins front office was willing to do something radical to improve the team, should mean (as with all potential trades) that almost nothing should be off the table.
Warren Buffett says to buy when the world is selling, and to sell when the world is buying. Thinking as a contrarian has enabled him to be a billionaire. Minnesota sports fans haven’t tasted success in a long time (lifetimes for many of those reading this). It’s time to really start thinking as a contrarian might.
Almost everyone expects Correa to revert to his former self. One “lesser” month does not represent a career.
I can almost hear you. If one month of Correa doesn’t really represent Correa, how in the world could one week of Lewis represent Lewis moving forward? Great point. Inarguable, really. So, since I’ve defeated myself, I won’t even defend myself, I’ll just move forward with my proposal.
Remember when the Twins were 4-8? It seems so long ago. I was near panic, until I remembered that baseball is long-term (see the dreaded marathon versus spring analogy). Now, the Twins are 21-15. The Twins clearly are better than they began the season, but are they as good as they have been over the last 24 games (17-7)?
I suspect they are in the middle, as per usual. They will beat the bad teams, lose to the good teams, and compete for the division by having a better than average record against the mediocre teams. That’s all well and good. It makes the season far more enjoyable than the last, when the Twins got crushed by the good teams, lost to the mediocre teams, and won some series against the truly awful teams. But I’m thinking playoffs, people. I’m thinking the future that includes the Yankees because, well, it always does.
How do the Twins beat the Yankees? Not by putting Royce Lewis back in the minors in order to stay sharp and get playing time. No, they beat the Yankees by keeping Lewis at short, and trading Correa for some serious help right now. I presume that would be pitching, but I can be persuaded that other needs exist as well. Arraez isn’t the ideal first baseman, but keeping Arraez in the lineup, somehow, some way, is critical to this team’s success. So, there you have it. Open up the lineup for Lewis and Arraez by trading Correa, and make what’s been a solid rotation and bullpen far more durable and potentially successful for the long-haul. The Twins will beat the Yankees if they have pitching equal to or better than the Yankees, even in the face of injuries.
This year, in the new era of low scoring games, it seems pitching is even more important than ever, and it’s always been the most important thing.
I have some names in mind, as I’m sure you do, but that’s for another article, and for more contemplation. Perhaps we need to wait a few weeks until some bad teams recognize how truly bad they are and/or some good teams (hopefully in the National League) recognize how much they need Correa as their shortstop.
Perhaps Correa’s value will increase toward the trade deadline, perhaps it will increase once he starts hitting as the world knows he can and will. Let’s not simply accept, without considering all alternatives at least, that Lewis will be sent to St. Paul in the coming days. The future belongs to those who are bold (wait, I think that was a recent Crypto ad and we are seeing how that’s turning out, scratch that). The future belongs to the bold who don’t deal in magical money that nobody understands. The future belongs to those bold enough to consider all possibilities regarding real assets (like Correa), not fake currency.
Disclaimer: Before last season, I advocated for trading Buxton. I now often find it necessary to disassociate myself from my own comments. If politicians can do it, I don’t see why I can’t! I may need to deny having ever proposed this Correa trade as well. After all, it’s entirely possible that upon publication, Lewis will slump horribly, and Correa will return with a vengeance making this entire thought process seem insane. In that case, I was really only kidding.