The Transition to Spoiler

17 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Alright, there has been a ton of content posted in a small period of time. If you missed any of these articles, please click on them (or simply scroll down):

As I mentioned in my Weekend Game Reports, many believed that the Twins needed to go at least 5-1 in their home stand against Kansas City and Cleveland. With a 2-4 record this last week, the Twins are now five games under .500 and six games behind the AL Central lead. I think we all knew, on some level, as much as a month ago that the 2009 season was pretty much done. With the results of this home stand, we can be pretty certain that the Twins (and we as fans) should now be transitioning into the role of spoilers. As fans, we can still have that never-ending hope in the back of our minds, but we also need to start thinking about 2010 and beyond. For the Twins, they need to start doing a few things already to look to Opening Day in Target Field. The below are some of my thought on what the Twins need to do over the season’s final six weeks.

The Twins are in an unusual situation. Because of the new stadium in 2010 and the Joe Mauer contract situation, the Twins cannot simply blow up the current roster and rebuild. They need to be able to contend right away in 2010. That is feasible. If they can just cut some of the fat on the current roster and replace them with mid-range free agent or younger players (like Steve Tolleson or Danny Valencia or Rob Delaney or Anthony Slama) and be better quickly. It is almost an “addition by subtraction” situation.  

The Twins team can get better quickly. There is a lot of talent that this team can build around. Those players include: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Scott Baker, Joe Nathan. Several other still-young players that need to be given adequate playing time the rest of the season to see what they can do given that opportunity. Players like Alexi Casilla, Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young and Brian Duensing.

WAIVER WIRE

The Twins, like all teams, are continually monitoring the waiver wire to find players that they think can make them better. The change now is that the Twins need to start scanning the waiver wires for players who will be able to help them in 2010.

Also, I think that the Twins should strongly consider putting several of their players on waivers. Now, this is all supposed to be confidential so it is possible that these things have already been done. I would put the following players on waivers and see what happens:

  • Carl Pavano – Unless the team truly believes that Pavano can be a Type B free agent, they might as well put him on waivers and just see if they can get a Player to be Named Later from someone to even out the Player to be Named Later that the Twins will send to Cleveland. If he won’t be a Type B, then let him go to a contender.
  • Orlando Cabrera – He sure had four or five good games when he first came to Minnesota, but since then, he has struggled both at the plate and in the field. None of this should be a surprise as his offense hasn’t been good for a couple of years and the defense took a dramatic turn for the worse this year.
  • Nick Punto – They have to try it. Maybe, just maybe, some team really, really wants a good, veteran defensive utility infielder. The hope would be that there would be some team that claims Punto so that the Twins can simply hand him over, just like the Blue Jays did with Alex Rios. We talked throughout the offseason about how Bill Smith needed to take the Punto option away from Gardy, and that remains the truth. To be fair, the contract that the Twins signed with Punto last offseason was certainly fair market value at the time. Punto has been worse than we could have even predicted.
  • Brendan Harris – He could be claimed by a team because he actually has talent. He will be arbitration-eligible after this season, so he will make a little bit more money next year, but he is good enough to get more playing time elsewhere. I don’t want to let Harris go, but it’s clear Gardy just does not want to play him, so they might as well figure something out.
  • Jesse Crain – it is worth seeing if they could get him through waivers. I don’t know that anyone would want to take on his contract right now. But he still has tremendous ability. He has three pitches and I fully believe that at some point, he will regain the “it” that made him so good from 2004-2007. If nothing can be done there, I would go to him with a contract for 2010 at 80% of his current $1.7 million deal for 2009. The rules dictate that he can only have his salary cut by his current team by 20%. I would offer him a one year deal for that approximately $1.36 million. If he signs it, great. If not, I may not offer him arbitration. If that happens, I don’t think that Crain’s 2010 salary by any other team will come near the $1.36 million range.
  • Joe Crede – I think we all know he isn’t coming back this year. It is worth seeing if the Twins could get anything for the oft-injured, but very talented 3B.

WHAT I WOULD DO TODAY

Some of these things have to wait a couple of weeks to happen, such as September call-ups. However, there are a couple of things that I would like to see the Twins do right away:

  • Option Anthony Swarzak to Rochester. He needs to go back down for three weeks and see what else he can learn and what other adjustments he can make. Recall Armando Gabino and install him as a long reliever. He has been passed by several times already this season. It is time to give him an opportunity and just see what he is capable of.  
  • Have a starting rotation that includes: Scott Baker, Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing. If Pavano would be claimed on waivers, I would move Jeff Manship into the rotation.
  • Obviously any players lost via waiver claim would have to be replaced.  I do think that the Twins have to be smart about who they promote in those situations because playing time for necessary players is very important.
  • Implement the outfield/DH situation that I mentioned during the offseason heading into this season:
    • Delmon Young in LF seven out of 10 games.
    • Carlos Gomez in CF seven out of 10 games.
    • Michael Cuddyer in RF seven out of 10 games.
    • Denard Span in LF three out of 10 games, in CF three out of 10 games, and in RF three out of 10 games.
    • Jason Kubel DH seven out of 10 games, with a game or so out in LF and RF.
    • Jason Pridie should also get a fair amount of time. By that, I mean, a start or two at each OF position, and a few other games where he comes in in the 6th inning and plays the rest of the game. It is almost his last chance to show if he can be a 4th or 5th outfielder, and if the Twins need to keep him on the 40 man roster.

WHAT I WOULD DO ON SEPTEMBER 1

I didn’t say I would do very much right now, and if the Twins are further out of the race, I would continue to do nothing on September 1st. If the Twins do happen to be in the race to any degree, I would promote Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney on August 31st and DFA Bobby Keppel and demote Armando Gabino.

WHAT I WOULD DO ON SEPTEMBER 8

The Rochester Red Wings’ season ends with an early evening game on Monday, September 7th. At that point, I would make my September call-ups. I wouldn’t earlier than that, again, in an attempt to make sure players who need it, get their opportunities.

  • Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama – Both would need to be added to the 40 man roster. I would remove R.A. Dickey and Bobby Keppel from the 40 man roster to do so. It is likely both would pass through waivers, but even if they didn’t, it would not hurt the Red Wings roster during the season, and both would likely be removed following the season anyway.
  • Danny Valencia – I would promote the Twins future 3B and get him playing time over the season’s final three weeks. I wouldn’t promote him before then because it would likely take the removal of Matt Macri or Brian Buscher from the 40 man roster to make it happen, and so really Rochester would be losing two players.
  • Recall – Armando Gabino, Steve Tolleson, Jose Morales, Anthony Swarzak and Kevin Mulvey.
  • Starting rotation from this time forward would be: Scott Baker (every fifth day), and then Francisco Liriano, Anthony Swarzak, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing and Jeff Manship. Basically, it would be a six man rotation with the idea that Baker would stay on his normal rest. That’s not even a big deal as it may mean one additional start over three weeks. I would also like to see Kevin Mulvey get a start.
  • Sappy – I know, I’m sappy for a good story, but I would also have no problem with the Twins promoting Brock Peterson. The idea of a 49th round draft pick getting that proverbial up of coffee is such a great story. He would be removed following the season, but it would be a great story.   

SUMMARY

The Crib Notes:

  • The Twins 2009 playoff hopes are all but officially over. It’s time for all decisions to have 2010 in mind!
  • There are several players who should be put on waivers and hopefully let go or traded.
  • If the Twins are at all still in contention on August 31st, I would promote Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney and put them on the playoff roster.
  • If the Twins aren’t in playoff contention, then I would wait until the Rochester Red Wings season is complete, and on September 8th, I would promote several players from Rochester.  

I’ve detailed my thoughts on what should happen throughout the rest of the baseball season for the Twins. Of course, once the season ends, there are many more decisions that need to be made as well. We can get into those at another time.

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.

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37 Responses to “The Transition to Spoiler”

  1. TT August 17, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    “I think we all knew, on some level, as much as a month ago that the 2009 season was pretty much done. With the results of this home stand, we can be pretty certain that the Twins (and we as fans) should now be transitioning into the role of spoilers.”

    Not hardly. There is still over a quarter of the season to go. They have been in a slump for almost a month and they are still in the race. As they say, “you are never as bad as you look when things are going bad, or as good when things are going good.”

    All the Twins need is a hot streak while playing the Tigers and White Sox. They may or may not do that, but that is why you play the games.

  2. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    Seth, lots to digest there. My first comment, while I think about the details of your plan, is about Gardy.

    He didn’t like Garza or Bartlett. He doesn’t like Harris as a player. At what point do you wonder if he has some kind of flaw in how he runs the team? Harris is better than Punto, Casilla or Cabrera (though I’m sure some will argue this, he just has no range at all), and he won’t play him. He is stuck on never using Nathan in 2 inning situations. His players don’t hit the cutoff men, they don’t run well, and the team just doesn’t (and you’ve said this for at least two years) do the little things well at all any more. One more year like this? Two more years like this? I was a big Gardy guy at first, but the more you see him, and how his teams play, the less there seems to be to like.

  3. gobbledygookguy August 17, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    a real pro front office may well do many of things seth says. however, bill smith has yet to show me he is up to the job of running a playoff caliber team. imo we will just hear more excuses, players don’t listen, poor calls by umps, just general bad luck.
    this is 3 years of very mediocre baseball when the team has a core, in their prime, of some very good players. the fo has just not been willing or able to make the additions to make this a playoff worthy team. rather sad really to waste the prime years of mauer, morneau and nathen.

  4. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    I agree with ggg that it is sad that they’ve had this core, and not successfully put other players on the field that are good enough to win.

  5. David84 August 17, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Good stuff. I disagree with the Delmon Young suggestions – I think they should cut ties with him and have Gomez play every day. It’s crazy to think that a rebound from Liriano along with Delaney+Slama additions could seriously improve this team’s pitching. Thanks for the suggestion about Punto w/o the anger so prevalent around the blogs. It’s refreshing to hear him talked about as a non-polarizing player.

  6. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    On Delmon Young:

    He is completing his 3rd year. This manager and FO loves Cuddy, span is legit (I hope), and Gomez can play good to great D and appears to be hitting better. It is unlikely Young will see much playing time next year, either, without an injury. He’ll likely get a raise this year into the mid $1.5 range or so.

    Then, he’ll have complete his 4th year, not playing much, taking up over $1MM than a replacement player as 4th OF and occassional RH DH. Let’s say they let Cuddy go after that year (and shockingly don’t replace his salary….), and DY becomes the everday RF (probably making around $2MM per year, maybe a tad more).

    He’ll be in year 5. What are the odds, that after sitting around for 3 years, he’s great? Let’s say he hits .280, .340, 450 or so and keeps his job.

    Now, year 6. Have they signed him based on one decent year? Or, has DY and his agent decided to see what he can do, and roll the dice on FA next year?

    The Twins are in a no win situation here. Either Young stinks or is mediocre in years 5 and 6, and they can re-sign him for not a ton of money, or he’s great and he walks for big money.

    I really believe that is how it will play out. Given that, I’d deal him for some other prospect that has failed to live up to the hype (Hardy, Wood, random hitter x).

    Otherwise, they should play him every day and see what he has, and maybe trade Cuddy in the offseason. They are wasting him and his value using him the way they are now.

  7. thrylos98 August 17, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I would put Cuddyer in the waiver trade situation. Given his age and contract he is not a core player. Also it is an opportunity for DY to play in his natural RF position.

    Another player who should be up in September is Huber. He leads the Twins’ minors system in HRs and does deserve a call up as a PT DH/1B/PH.

  8. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    t98: you sure have a ton of confidence in DY. Cuddy has been at worst, league median on offense this year (for a RF). Do you really think DY can do that next year?

    Do you really think they’d reinvest the savings in a SS or 2B or 3B or SP that made that much money?

    If the answer is yes to both questions, then MAYBE you take that chance. If not, why take another step back in terms of production with M&M in their prime?

    • thrylos98 August 17, 2009 at 10:35 am #

      mww,

      M&M are entering their prime, DY is before his prime and Cuddyer at his prime. Plus the $8.5M he is owned next season could be invested towards filling other needs (like SS). This has been close to a career season (in numbers, not in actual win probability added; numbers here; pretty eye opening set of numbers imo) and the Twins should sell high. It makes no sense to sell low on Young when you can sell high on Cuddyer and help close another gap next season.

      • mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 10:46 am #

        “could be” is not the same as “would be”. Plus, there is no evidence, yet, that DY can even be close to Cuddy in production. IF they used the money to fill another hole (which is not their MO), would they just be creating another one in RF?

        Agreed, Cuddy is a sell high right now. But, this isn’t about a portfolio of assets, this is about winning while M&M are in their prime, not making more money the next two years….at least I hope it isn’t about that.

  9. peterb August 17, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    If the Twins don’t sign Gibson it will be a big sign to Mauer and Morneau as to the philosophy of the future. All indications are that Mauer would be better off in the New York situation if the Twins continue their penny pinching ways. I don’t agree with this small market stuff–this is a mid-market franchise. And it is the richest family in all of baseball, and 3rd richest in all of North American sports according to Forbes Mag. Let’s do something besides signing retreads.

  10. Seth August 17, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Please note that my article is on what the Twins should do over the final 6-7 weeks of the season, not in the off season. My point is that guys like Delmon need to play and just see if this power streak that he is on can be maintained.

    There will be plenty of offseason to talk about what the Twins need to do.

    I don’t really talk about the Twins dealing Cuddyer for a few reasons ,1.) I don’t think he should be traded, there are guys who should stay with their teams, 2.) he is playing well this year, 3.) he’s 29, not 33!, 4.) it’s not going to happen anyway, so why waste time thinking about it.

    As for Gardenhire and Anderson, I thought about mentioning it in the article, but agian, that is a decision for after the season is completed. I personally would not fire either one of them. I tend to be one who thinks managers and coaches get too much credit for good times and too much blame for bad times. This is on the players, not the manager or coaching staff. As fans, we’re never going to agree with the hometown’s managers, coaches, General Managers on every single call. I would give them another year. Plus, a new manager and pitching coach would not be the way to keep Mauer around!

    Thrylos – I can go along with the idea of Huber coming up as a Thank you for joining us in April and having a good season thing. He can be removed from the 40 man roster as soon as the season is over too.

  11. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    I don’t disagree with any of your suggestions at all Seth. While I think cutting Harris is stupid, if your manager refuses to play him, you may as well see if you can get anything for him. At this point, he’s just taking up space and payroll for no return.

    Actually, your whole plan is sound. I too would have played that OF rotation this year, at least for a while. They NEEDED (still NEED) to figure out what they have or don’t have there.

  12. gobbledygookguy August 17, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    a problem with how gardy has done his outfield is when the season is over we still don’t know if dy or gomez are the answer. it’s been a wasted season of growth for both. if he had done a true rotation everyone would have had the chance to produce and you would think one of them would have won the job outright.
    gardy wanted to cut harris in spring training and keep tolbert. there is no reason to keep him if it’s possible to get something for him. as long as gardy plays favs this team will continue to scuffle.

  13. gobbledygookguy August 17, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    the yankees signed the 29th pick for 2.2m. if the twins low ball gibson at 1.3-1.4 they have no excuses.

  14. Seth August 17, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Yankees signings their guy, 29th overall pick, for $2.2 definitely does not help the Twins… It completely justifies $2.5 million for the 22nd pick.

  15. rosterman August 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Yeah, probably time to cut ties with Crede if another tema wishes to claim him (know the Twins can’t just release him because of an incentive laden contract, I believe).

    The Twins need to see what Valencia can do in 80-or-so at bats. Tolleson also needs a good look see. Could argue that Luke Hughes should egt some playing time.

    Drew Butera, he’s on the 40-man. Let’s give him his cup-of-coffee. But Morales should be the back-up next season (and get him a first abseman’s mit). Maybe the Twins will need the third catcher.

    I don’t know if Pridie is worth any more looks. Do we need to see Martin, or lose him in the Rule 5? Same with brock Peterson. Doubt he’ll be abck.

    The big question is Harris. Worth aribitration? Imagine the Twins will go the route, just for back-up protectiuon. Twins need to make major decisions on Punto, Casilla and Young.

    In the pitching world, Gabino needs a look-see shot. Otherwise, why is he on the 40-man. Dickey, gone, Keppel, gone. The whole questin on Delaney and Slama is starting their 40-man time. I imagine they would make the team in the next couple of years, so adding them now compared to mid-November is moot.

    The big questions ion the Twins arbitration calendar is Perkins, Neshek, Boof and, to a lesser extent, Liriano. All will double their salaries, even though a couple shouldn’t (because of injury). Will Boof be a valuable cog in the 2010 roster? And, like you said, Seth…Crain. Offer him the cut, hope he comes back strong.

    Anyone see Duensing being back in 2010?

    We have to remember in the back of our minds that the Twins play, like, a month of games in September against their division rivals, so they aren’t totally out of it. Especially if KC and Cleveland also spoil the days and nights of the Sox and Tigers. The Twins just have to beat the Sox and Tigers (and need to find the starters to do it).

    Cuddyer is going nowhere.

    • sam August 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

      what about winfrey tosoni?

  16. TT August 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    “If the Twins don’t sign Gibson it will be a big sign to Mauer and Morneau as to the philosophy of the future.”

    Management giving up on this team would be a big sign to Mauer and Morneau as to the philosophy of the future too. They can count on a management and fan base that will panic and give up on them 3/4 of the way through the season.

  17. Matt August 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    Seth, I like your ideas except for some of the timing. As bad as they’ve been lately, the Twins are still only 5 games back. I think the front office has to give the guys two more weeks to see if they can get something going and gain some ground. If not, then you call up the young guys and think about next year. This eliminates the possibility of trading Pavano, Crede, Harris, etc before the post-season roster deadline, but it would send a horrible message to the clubhouse, and especially Mauer, to start selling off pieces when you’re 5 back with 45 to play.

  18. Brad August 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Instead of trading away, I’d like to see them add some more pitching. In the past few weeks a few more teams have fallen out of contention are looking to next year. If the Twins are still 5+ out on Aug 30th then they should see what they can get for Crede, Delmon, Harris, Punching Judy, Cabrera.

  19. Greg August 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Seth,

    overall good stuff. if I lived in Minnesota would enjoy going to the games and having a beer with you. I am out here in Northern California..

    Out of all the suggestions, hoping Punto would get picked up would be great.. I like his glove and work ethic but Gardy plays him too much. Plus, as you note the $ would be usefull for 2010.

    lots of time left in the season.. make it happen or play a spoiler.

    I like Pavanno he would be someone if the rest of the season goes well, would be good to have in the rotation.

    As I seet we will need at least two veterans to stabilize the 2010 staff.

    Win Twins!!!

  20. DH in Philly August 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Just saw on ESPN that the leading candidate to be BC’s starting QB is former baseball player David Shinskie. I assume that this is the former Twins farm hand. Are you aware of this, Seth?

  21. Seth August 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    DH – Yeah, that is the same David Shinskie. I think I posted a link to that story a couple of months ago, after he was released by Toronto.

  22. TT August 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    My fear is that the Twins will turn into a pale version of the early 1990′s Yankees where every deal was made with an eye toward how it would play in the tabloids.

    Two weeks ago the Twins were going to lose Mauer and Morneau if they didn’t make a deadline deal to improve the team. Now all is lost and, because he had one bad game yesterday, its time to get rid of Cabrera. Two weeks ago the tabloids wanted to hand Liriano’s spot in the rotation to Swarzak. Now Swarzak lacks major league pitches and Liriano is back to being a future ace.

    If the Twins get to mid-Septembers and its time to evaluate players the ones to start with are the veterans Cabrera, Pavano and Crede. Those three have filled holes that have been judged as critical to the Twins success, or lack of success, this year. Are any of them answers for next year or is this going to be another off-season of hoping that mediocre prospects will step into those roles.

    If Valencia’s second half batting average stays down around .250 at AAA, is there some reason to think he is going to hit better in a big league trial? Or that it would mean anything if he did? If Crede isn’t coming back, the Twins need to look outside the organization for a replacement or expect to go with Harris and/or Buscher.

    The Twins have a lot of young pitchers who might fill out the rotation. But Pavano is a more likely option than any of them. In fact, he may be the only Twin pitcher you could count on for next season. If the Twins plan to compete next year they need at least one proven veteran in the rotation. You might put Baker on that list – but he has had his struggles this year too. Liriano? Perkins? Blackburn? Even Slowey has to be a question mark coming back from surgery. finding the answers to three slots is a lot more likely than four.

    If the Twins don’t resign Cabrera, who plays shortstop next year? Punto? He is really the only option unless Plouffe is ready.

    Are there better players than any of those three veterans that will be available this winter? Probably. But its important to remember there are 30 other teams with holes to fill. Some of them are going to be looking at that same pool and its likely Cabrera, Crede and Pavano will all end up playing for one of them. There will also be worse players who have jobs, lets hope its not with the Twins.

  23. Jesse H August 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    I agree with much of what you said but I would even state the outfield situation stronger. Delmon and Carlos get to play in %80+ of the remaining games and they are told this:

    Delmon: If you don’t show significant improvement in the last month and half (OPS over .750) then you are going to go into next year as a definite 4th outfielder and may only play 1 or 2 games a week.

    Carlos: If you don’t show significant improvement in the last month and half (OPS over .750) then you are going to play all of 2010 in AAA.

    We have had 2 years of poor play from our 3rd outfielder and it has to stop. One of these guys has to step up or the Twins need to go outside the organization to get some decent production out of that spot.

  24. mike wants wins August 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    Pavano has not had an ERA under 4.76 since 2004, nor under 5 in the last two years (yes, he’s been hurt a lot, that’s actually a black mark, not an excuse). The only thing you can count on is that the Twins are likely to lose more of his starts than win. He’s just not good any more. I don’t understand the love affair with this guy. Sure, if you can’t get a PTBN for him now, pitch him and see if some miracle happens (and, if it does, he’ll just be “too expensive” anyway, so I’m not sure what the point is).

  25. TT August 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    “The only thing you can count on is that the Twins are likely to lose more of his starts than win.”

    That makes him an average Twin starter doesn’t it? You are not going to have five guys where the team wins most of their starts.

  26. peterb August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    Seth has one flaw in his thinking about having Tolleson, Valencia, Delaney and Slama as future players to count on for next year. The problem is that those players are not considered high-end players by the baseball community. Probably the best bet for success is Slama. It is also important to sign Crede for next year so we can see what we have in Velencia. If Valencia struggles then we still have Crede for the rest of the year. Also,Cabera is not the guy to have in front of Mauer–he is to much of a free swinger!
    Although Cuddeyer has flaws(being a notorious guess hitter being the number one flaw), it is extremely hard to find 20 home run hitters. Gardy is another big ?????

  27. mike wants wind August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    I guess if I can pay Swarzak $400K to lose 60% of his starts, or Pavano millions to lose 60% of his starts, I’ll pay Swarzak and hope he gets better, and spend the money on a legit 2B or SS or 3B or RP….

  28. peterb August 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    The pitching is a big problem for the future. Not a hard thrower in all of the starters. I don’t think Liriano can be made ito a control pitcher—–some people just don’t have the make-up for that. The pitchers with potential are all in the lower minors,or slse they would be up already. Anderson and the training staff have to be evaluated because of philosophy(trying to make all into control specialists), and why do all of our pitchers lose velocity has the season wears on. Are our training methods viable?

  29. Matt August 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Crede is a Boras client. He’ll want more than he’s worth for more years than is smart (for the Twins) and will be unlikely to take another incentive laden deal to protect the Twins against injury risk. I’m assuming he’s out of the picture for next year. If Valencia isn’t ready then a Harris/Buscher platoon might be in order.

    I’d like to see the Twins take a run at trading for Hardy as a longer term answer at short. Cabrera will be in his age 35 season next year. He’ll be declining and might be a passable major league shortstop for a year, maybe two, but he’ll probably cost more than he’s worth.

  30. roger August 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Seth, Well, Delaney and Slama certainly didn’t help their case today. Slama give up 4 hits and 5 runs in 1.2 innings to get the loss. Delaney came on after him and gave up 5 hits and 6 runs with a walk…in NO innings, didn’t get an out. OUCH!

  31. roger August 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    To be fair, I should mention that they each pitched a scoreless inning with 1 hit and 1 strikeout against the same team yesterday.

  32. TT August 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Being Boras client doesn’t magically get you paid more. Crede is only worth what someone will pay him. Its not clear that he is worth more to other teams than he is to the Twins. He plays good defense which the Twins value. His power/low average fits well into the 7th or 8th spot in the order which fits the Twins. I don’t know who is going to give him anything other than an incentive laden contract. They wouldn’t last year and based on this year that isn’t likely to change.

    • Matt August 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

      Boras clients don’t magically get paid more, but they always hit the open market and they always ask for a lot. Smith had to wait out the market last year. Last year Crede was coming off a serious back injury. This year he’s only had minor aches and pains which he might attribute to playing on turf and seek a grass team.

      My hunch is Crede will not sign another one year deal, and I doubt the Twins will block Valencia with anything longer than that.

      • TT August 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

        “they always hit the open market and they always ask for a lot”

        I am not sure either of those things are true. Boras represents a lot of high-profile clients where that is true, but I don’t think it is “always” true.

        In any case, its not clear there is someone out there who is going to offer Crede more than he is worth to the Twins.

        “seek a grass team”

        Next year, that would include the Twins.

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