What Would YOU Do? Gomez/Young Edition

12 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

With the 2009 season in the rearview mirror, it is likely that the Twins front office will soon turn their attention to the 2010 season. There are a ton of decisions that GM Bill Smith and his staff need to make this offseason. In conjunction with TwinsCentric.com and its Offseason GM Handbook, we are look at a series of What Would YOU Do blog entries. We have considered what to do with Orlando Cabrera, Joe Nathan, and Carl Pavano.

I am completely exhausted, so today I’m going to post a quick article on a couple of players that I know everyone has an opinion on, Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez. It’s interesting to me that you very rarely find someone who doesn’t have an opinion on this topic. The general idea we can assume is the Michael Cuddyer will be in RF next year for the Twins and that Denard Span will be the team’s every day leadoff hitter. But will Span play CF every day or LF? That is a question that will likely be answered this offseason. So, what do you think:

Offense – They both swing at everything, so no real advantage there. That said, Young seems to have much more power, and given more playing time late in the season, he showed some of that with three home runs on the final weekend. Gomez seemed to try to take more pitches, but I’m not certain that was successful either. Gomez also quit bunting for hits, which was one of his best weapons his first month as a Twin.

Base Running – Carlos Gomez is clearly much faster. However, he is not a good base runner at all. He has been afraid to steal bases since about May of 2008. He can fly around the bases, but he makes a lot of mistakes. Although not a speedy runner, Young seems to be a smart base runner, and can occasionally steal a base.

Defense – Carlos Gomez is statistically one of the better CF in baseball, but I don’t think he’s a great outfielder yet. He still takes some bad angles to baseballs, he’s just so fast he’s able to make up for it. He’s got a strong arm, but uses it inconsistently. Young is clearly not a real strong LF. He looks shaky and uncertain, but he makes very few errors, so most of the time, he gets the job done.

The Twins used Jason Kubel a lot in the outfield late in the season, and Carlos Gomez was the 4th outfielder. At this point, I’m not convinced that he is really more than that. That said, it’s hard to know that until he gets every day playing time for a year. But the same can be said for Delmon Young. Therein lies the problem. They both need the daily playing time, but there isn’t a way to do that. So, there must be a trade. Does either of them have value at this point? Which would be a better #4 option if they don’t trade either?

So what do you think? First, who has the bigger upside? Who do you think could contribute more to the Twins if playing time for each was every day? What would you do with playing time, or what would you expect to get back if either is traded? If you would like to share your thoughts, please click here.

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This is another of many, many decisions that the Twins General Manager Bill Smith will have to make now that the Twins playoff run is complete. John Bonnes (Twins Geek), Parker Hageman (Over the Baggy), Nick Nelson (Nick’s Twins blog) and myself have put together the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook. In its pages, we will put the reader in the role of Twins GM. The four of us will act as advisers. We will provide you with 137 pages worth of information to help you work through your offseason. We discuss the Twins internal free agents, look at the 40 man roster and options to be added, possible trade targets and free agent options. We will review the Joe Mauer contract situation, the #2 spot in the order, and all of the Twins potential arbitration scenarios. Finally, we will each present you with a blueprint, our own recommendation of eight to ten ideas to improve the Twins in 2010. Darren “Doogie” Wolfson wrote the foreword for us. If you are at all interested in this, be sure to go to www.TwinsCentric.com where you can purchase an electronic book (all 137 pages) for just $9.95. If you’re even just a little bit intrigued, still check out that web site where you can also receive a Free Sample of approximately 1/3 the book. Of course, if you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail me, or e-mail TwinsCentric@gmail.com.

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56 Responses to “What Would YOU Do? Gomez/Young Edition”

  1. brad October 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    Would have bought the TwinsCentric book until I read that Doogie aka ‘I’m a racist’ is in there.

  2. Andy October 12, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    I think this one is easy but I know many people would disagree. I think Delmon Young needs to be an everyday guy next year. This is a difficult situation though as Gomez needs everyday at bats to get better as well. It’s also tough as Delmon has more trade value than Gomez. I’m not sure Gomez has any trade value where it would be worth dealing him. I think the best possible thing Billy Smith can do if he can’t trade one of them and get something good in return is to sign a veteran 4th outfielder and start Gomez in Rochester next year. It would be a big mistake to trade Delmon Young as he has a ton of upside and I can see him at .290/20 HRS / 90 RBI next year with everyday playing time. Gomez’s speed does us no good on the basepaths until he learns to play the game. Tough spot on this one, I actually think this is the toughest call Smith will have to make this off-season. We will see, I just really hope he does not trade Delmon Young.

  3. Bryz October 12, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    Let opposing GMs decide how much value Young and Gomez have. Offer them in trades, and see who generates more interest.

    With Seattle’s focus on defense, if they had an opening in the OF then they’d likely be interested in Gomez…but they already have Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, and Ichiro.

    I’d pick Gomez, but the Twins need to convince him to try for some more bunt hits. He basically gave up on them this year, and Aaron Gleeman suggested that those bunt hits were the difference between last year’s batting average and this year’s. Plus, it’s becoming hard watching Young struggle for the first couple months of the season (along with his poor defense) and wait for his 2nd half outburst to start when Gomez’s defense immediately gives positive value to the Twins.

  4. mike October 12, 2009 at 11:19 pm #

    I think this article significantly understates the difference between delmon and carlos defensively. Even though Gomez is worse offensively he had a significantly higher RAR (6.2) compared to Delmon’s -12.8. Gomez already has an elite skill while Young is bad offensively and defensively at this point. I think Young has potential and could become a good player but right now he would have to improve his offense significantly to become as valuable as Gomez. I personally don’t think the twins should trade either player. They would get pennies on dollar in a trade and both players have the ability to become good players. At the end of both his last 2 seasons Delmon has looked capable offensively and if Gomez could become even an average hitter he would be great because of the defensive he plays. I would play carlos in AAA next year (I believe he has 2 option years left) and play Delmon everyday at the major league level and hope that one of them develops into a good player.

  5. Peter S October 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    get rid of both. Maybe, gomez could be kept as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. But neither one of them deserves to be in the starting lineup.

  6. greenmachine October 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    Fangraphs.com has the following Wins Above Replacement values for the two players:

    Young: -1.3 (416 plate appearances)
    Gomez: +0.6 (349 PA)

    As mike noted above, for Delmon’s supposed offensive advantage, he is actually in the negative runs vs. replacement in 2009 (-12.8 RAR). Delmon was negative last year too. You might call the WAR and RAR stats “made-up” but they do seem to match the relative performances of our best players (Kubel, Morenau, Span in the threes, Joe Mauer with a monstrous 8.2 WAR).

    If you have to pick a player based on the last two seasons, it has to be Gomez. Unless you believe that Delmon has a late-twenties David Ortiz year in him (and do you want to keep playing him a season or two at this pace to get there?), then Delmon is a kind of player who is easy to replace. Gomez OTOH at least has significantly above average defense at a defensively important position to go with the projectability.

    Perkins + Young + prospect for JJ Hardy.

  7. doofus October 13, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    I think Young would have had a better start to this season had it not been for his mother passing. I had a hard time when mine passed away. Lets see what happens next year. I think Delmon should start and Gomez is at best a 4th OF. and really a AAAA OF until he at least learns to run the bases. He does have value as a strong armed speedy OF though.

  8. jason October 13, 2009 at 12:13 am #

    Carlos’ 6.2 RAR is really similar to OCab’s 6.8 RAR and Carlos had significantly fewer PA’s. On the “what should we do with OCab” page it seemed like many people favored giving him a 2 year 6-8 mil deal. What does Carlos need to do to get some respect? Demonstrate OCab like imaginary leadership and a quickly diminishing defensive skill set?

  9. matt October 13, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    I think many fans greatly under appreciate the value of defense in baseball because it’s very difficult to observer during a game. Because of that I feel like lots of people are to hung up on offense alone. Gomez is an elite defensive center fielder and that is difficult to find. Also, he would allow them to move Span, who is a slightly below average center fielder (uzr/150 -11), to a corner outfield position where he has been very good, (LF UZR/150 13.2 RF UZR/150 5.1). Playing gomez in the outfield changes the twins outfield defense from bad (with cuddyer, span, young) to very good (with cuddyer, gomez, span) With the twins starting 2 extreme fly ball pitchers in Baker and Slowey, it think strong outfield defense should emphasized. All that being said I don’t think they should trade either unless a good deal presents itself. Both players have been bad enough with the twins that I don’t think either has much trade value, and trading one just to clear room is likely to come back to haunt them. I agree with several of the earlier post and think that they should get Carlos playing time in AAA since he is the only one with options left, and hope that one of them emerges.

  10. Nathan October 13, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    They should have put Gomez in AAA last year. Instead they waste service time and have a guy who was relatively useless. Young belongs there too, but because of his contract, that’s unnecessary. That said, they should do this again. Gomez to AAA. Young gets to start every day in LF or RF. I know that defensively this isn’t the best option, so it may not be a bad idea to have Pridie up as a 5th OFer/defensive replacement. I don’t think this is too hard of a decision to make. Gomez would likely improve more facing easier pitching, whereas Delmon has the ability to hit major league pitching but needs to work more on plate discipline. I think Delmon is more likely to improve at the ML level and his contract basically forces the issue.

  11. gobbledygookguy October 13, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    if you look at what cuddy did, which was a lot less then delmon at the same age, he didn’t have a “good” year until he was 27. if dy had the same # of at bats as cuddy this yr he’d have est 18 hr and 89 rbi.
    very true that dy should have spent more time in the minors but that’s not an issue anymore. if gomez can he should.
    he needs a lot more work which can’t be done sitting on the bench.
    the other thing is why would a team want to trade for these guys?
    imo cuddy should be at 3b the first day of spring training and stay there until he proves he can’t play there. if he can you solve 2 problems.

  12. mike wants wins October 13, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    I’m going to take a different approach to this. I’m just not going to talk about DY and his offense or defense, because some people just don’t want to look at the numbers. I’m all in the fact he could get better, btw.

    DY just completed his third year as MLB. I believe that makes him arbitration eligible this year. That means that the Twins will need to start paying him millions this year, and for the next two years. They have HUGE holes at 3B, ss, 2B and starting pitching. Gaping, huge holes. They were 12th in starters ERA out of 14 AL teams.

    Let’s say they keep DY, and pay him around a million or so this year. If he has a good year, they’ll have to pay him 3-5MM in year 5. Can they afford that, if they signed a MLB starter, kept Nathan, and offerred Mauer the farm? Can they afford year 6? Will they be able to afford his FA years? I think the answer is no for several reasons.

    1. They’ll need to sign Mauer.
    2. They need to acquire a pitcher or two.
    3. They aren’t trading Nathan or Cuddeyer.
    4. Gomez is a great fielder, and Span is better on the corners, and the team is loaded with fly ball pitchers.
    5. Their best prospects are OFers (and a catcher, ironically).
    6. They have some ok OF prospects that could be a 4th OFer for the minimum salary next year.

    Therefore, for money reasons, I think now is the time to cut the cord on the DY experiment. I don’t see them going over 100MM in payroll, and every dollar spent on a guy that is at or below or just above replacement level is a dollar they can’t afford to waste (Punto vs Tolbert, for example).

    Seattle won a lot more games this year, and had a lower ERA largely because they said “we are going to be great on defense”, and they were. The Twins have M&M&K&C&S to hit. They scored enough runs this year to be good to great. They need starting pitching, defense, and more starting pitching. They do not need DY’s bat or defense next year (assuming no one regresses). They would be MUCH, MUCH better defensively with Span, Gomez, Cuddy. I think that people are vastly underrating how much better the D is that way, and the impact on ERA of a great OF, instead of a below average OF.

    I still think DY can be a very good hitter. I’m not convinced he will be, but I think he has that potential. However, when looking at the entirety of what the Twins need, across the roster, given their payroll constraints, I think they need their 4th OF to be making the minimum. I think they need great OF D to go along with Span and Cuddy’s hitting. I think they have the answers on the MLB roster for that now, and those answers do not include DY.

  13. Jon October 13, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Unfortunately, there is no way that Gomez goes back to AAA. Currently, he is the only piece of the Santana trade that has any major league value. Mulvey is gone and Humber was just declared a minor leauge free agent and could be gone as well. Since both players were obtained in trades that we took in the shorts, I don’t see us selling low on either player. That said, I think that if Bill Smith could get equal value, he would move one of them.

  14. Rick October 13, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    I guess I would first wait to see the medical reports on Morneau. If he is not able to play, you would basically have the lineup you finished the season with and keep both OF’s. Cuddyer at 1st and Delmon the everyday LF. Assuming Morneau comes back healthy Gomez would be in Rochester. Delmon would be my everyday LFiedler. I would do something that Calvin Griffith did years ago with Rod Carew and Butch Wynegar. I would look very hard at Ben Revere in spring training. And if he looked like he could hit ML pitching he comes North as an everyday outfielder and #2 hitter in the lineup. I know it’s a big jump but Carew and Wynegar both did it. At that point Delmon would be trade bait.

  15. IA twins fan October 13, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    Delmon hit 300/329/459 not including the attrocious 10 games after the death of his mother in which he hit 118/147/118 and struck out 55% of the time. He was clearly not ready to play but was forced into the lineup due to Span’s vertigo. The above line would give him 6 batting runs above average.

  16. ES16 October 13, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    Before he leaves town, the Twins should sit Gomez down and tell him he will play winter ball. They should give him a list of things to work on while he’s there. In spring training, if he hasn’t made any progress, they should send him to Rochester. I think a wake-up call like that might be what he needs. This on-the-job training at the major league level isn’t working, especially as a 4th outfielder.

    As for DY, I think he has a lot of potential, as does Gomez, but there are hundreds of players out there with potential, who never reach it. I don’t think it would hurt to throw his name around in trades, but unless it was a great deal, I would hold on to him. Give him one more season to prove himself. Maybe he should play some winter ball as well. I think that would really be a benefit to him. He could work on his game with no pressure.

  17. mike wants wins October 13, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    IA Twins fan, I can’t recall, is RAA position adjusted? How does that line compare to other LFers? If they do start spending millions on Span and Young, how do they afford more pitching?

    Also, what are the team’s defensive metrics with him n LF and Span in center, as compared to having Gomez in center and Span in left?

  18. Dome Dog October 13, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I think it is very difficult to advocate for Gomez, despite his great defensive abilities, because he seems to be a baseball “idiot”. I’d be very tempted to take a slightly less talented ballplayer that I knew I could trust, knew what I’d get out of him everyday, than take the slightly more talented ballplayer who doesn’t have a clue (whether that involves baserunning, throwing to the wrong base, or taking extremely poor at bats in key situations). I’m not a huge Delmon Young fan, and I really pull hard for Gomez to live up to his potential, but I just don’t know that you can trust Gomez.

  19. armadillo44 October 13, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    I think Gomez has more upside but unless you can really get good value for Young then I would start Gomez at AAA and Young as the everyday LF. Hopefully with regular playing time both improve and then you can get a better return on a trade plus you have an insurance policy in case Span, Cuddyer, Kubel, Morneau or the other outfielder gets hurt.

  20. Joel Thingvall October 13, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    Looking at need.

    Cuddyer holds his own. 30 homers, 100 rbi, .275 batting average is a great right fielder, especially if he can field the position, too.

    If Delmon Young hit 20+ homers and got 80 rbi and hit .275, I’d say keep him in left. Right now, I would be more than satisfied with Span, who has shown more consistency, can hit (dream) a dozen homers. The .300 average helps, plus he’s the Twins lead-off hitter.

    Then we can live with Gomez in center, if he bunts, steals bases, and hits .250.

    But other factors need to come into play. We can’t have a light-hitting third abseman. Crede gave us dingers and rbi, with his modest average, but still better than Harris/Buscher/Tolbert.

    Especially if you have Punto and Casilla (or any of those others) manning 2nd and SS. SS has become a hitting position, used to be the hole where a guy could get on base and have zero homers. Now you must hit double digits, it seems.

    Right now the Twins have four weak hiutting areas where they should have only 1 or two…2B, SS, 3B CF. If Span plays left, you have five run manufacturers. You need punch at 3B. You need betetr production at 2B or SS (and Cabrera gves you more than you have at the moment). Gomez CAN hold his own in CF. Maybe he’ll shine, but I’d accept 30-40 steals and a .260 BA and 5-10 dingers.

    But Young is also Young.

    The bigegr question is: line-up construction, what holes need to be filled and why…and bench consctruction (Redmond, Buscher, Harris, Casilla, Morales, Gomez…wow, I see walk-off wins not happening in my dreams here).

  21. Seth October 13, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    Hey ya’ll, great comments, keep them coming… I’d like to add this to the debate…

    Both Young and Gomez will be arbitration eligible this offseason. Young, who made about $1.2 million this year, could jump to $1.8-2 million in 2010. Gomez, who made less than $0.5 million in 2009, could get $1.2-$1.5 million in 2010.

    I’m all for Gomez to Rochester. I think it should have happened in 2008, and again in 2009. But for $1.5 million, do you want him in Rochester? Just a question to add to the debate.

  22. TT October 13, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Gomez runs the bases fine. He slipped rounding second. That is not a mental error and will happen to anyone. He is young and a bit raw but those two things often go together.

    I don’t think Gomez/Young is really an off-season decision. The only way this becomes an off-season decision is if you want to play Gomez every day. Then Young really doesn’t have a role on the team.

    I think the Twins ought to hang onto both of them and decide in spring training whether Gomez has a role on the big league roster or should spend some time at AAA. He’s really not a bad option as a fourth outfielder. In fact, he’s a really good option.

  23. Han Joelo October 13, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    –The national media has been extremely harsh on Young and Gomez for their bases loaded AB’s against Robertson. Hard to call them at bats really, as they both seemed to be swinging as they walked up the dugout steps. Does anybody know if those pitches were even strikes? At the same time, Bobby Abreu is being praised for bringing some needed patience to the Angels. Maybe Young, Gomez, and the Twins get this message.

    –I agree with almost all the posters; their are a lot of sides to this coin and no easy answers. AAA time for Gomez would be great, but it should have happened this year. Would be good to see Tosoni, Martin, Pridie or Revere (as posted above) move up and challenge for that 4th/5th OF spot.
    —Trading Young now could be a colossal mistake. The only way I’d think about doing it would be for a similar high-upside but flawed top prospect.

  24. Dean October 13, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    I will say what no one wants to say but at least a few people have probably thought about. If we are looking to make a trade because of the excess outfielders and are looking for the best way to upgrade the team, I think they need to look into what Cuddy could bring in a trade. Don’t you have to look at the old saying of selling high. I know that it would not be a popular move but it could bring in a fairly decent pitcher and that is what we need. I know I will probably catch a lot of bad reponses on this post but it is something that Bill Smith needs to look into.

  25. The Apple Capital Rumble October 13, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    After watching the ALDS it’s apparent that the Twins cannot compete in the American League without upgrades at the bottom of the lineup. Glen Perkins is replaceable, and I’ve long championed a trade for JJ Hardy. The Brewers balked at trading him last year, and now they’ve cornered themselves. They need pitching. Perkins and a quality prospect could do that. We could even offer something like Perkins and Manship because the back end of their rotation is embarrassingly bad. That can help solve the infield problem without having to give up way to much for Hardy (because they would have no need for Young or Gomez with the current state of their outfield and farm system).

    Young played well (and seems to every year) the last portion of the season, but it will get old very quickly watching him not really do a whole lot until the latter part of July.

    On that same note, it’s already getting old watching Carlos Gomez. He’s got speed which helps, but he doesn’t use it. What good is speed if it’s not put to use? His speed is an obvious asset defensively, but as many of you have already stated, he uses that as a crutch to make up for not being a very intelligent defensive outfielder. He doesn’t have the offensive upside that Delmon Young has, but Delmon Young’s bad offensive metrics are Carlos Gomez’s at his best, so of the two Gomez is clearly the more expendable in my mind because to compete in the American League you have to power, and Gomez just doesn’t have the physical tools to offer that. Granted, Young hasn’t exactly exploded into being the player everyone projected him to be three years ago, but he’s still more than Gomez is (steals and defense aside).

    Thanks to the Mets, Gomez was put into the pressure cooker that is the major leagues long before he was ever ready. Had he come up through the Twins system there’s no way he would have seen permanent time in the majors when he did. People keep saying that there’s no way the Twins will put him in AAA, but they need to. They need to sit him and tell him that he’s going to AAA because it’s whats best for him. He has the options. He’s not in any position to tell them no. By the time Gomez is actually ready, Cuddyer will be up for a new contract.

    This is the solution for keeping them both with the team and getting playing time. Everyone was saying the same thing last year, and we kept them both with the major league squad. We can’t do that again. Either trade one of them or move Gomez down.

  26. mike wants wins October 13, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Everyone is concentrating on offense. The Twins were 5th in runs scored. That’s plenty good. If they have Gomez in center, and find a 3B that plays all year, they likely score more runs nexxt year just by finding a real 3B. They don’t need DY’s bat (if everyone just plays like they did, and they fix 3B). They need better run prevention, something DY does not offer at all.

    If you really think DY will hit 20+ HRs, with a better OBP, then you need to see what you can get for Cuddy. The roster is a portfolio that can only handle so much salary, and that salary needs to include more starting pitching and a 3B or SS or 2B that costs more than the minimum (and I’m not talking Punto here).

    If you think that Span, Kubel, Cuddeyer, Mauer and Morneau keep it up next year, then I don’t know why they need DY’s bat (unless the strategy changes to outscore them, pitching and D be darned).

  27. Heinie Manush October 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Regarding Gomez, I believe two things:

    1.The Twins are better with him on the roster.

    2. He cannot be a starter with his offense and will not learn to hit at the major league level.

    So the team needs to decide whether GoGo will ever learn to hit. If the answer is no, so be it, he stays with the club and has a nice career as a vaulable role player. If the answer is yes, he goes to Rochester and returns when his offense in adequate (and I don’t think it would take much).

    Either way, we don’t have an extra outfielder. If Carlos goes down and becomes a decent hitter (.260/.320/.410) he comes back as our starting CF and, only then, we have an extra outfielder.

  28. Nick October 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    1.Gomez, Span and Cuddy are worth roughly 50 more runs over a season.
    2.If you play Young instead, then let him play everyday and send Gomez down to AAA so he can play everyday.
    3.Both of these players are only going to get better if they play everyday.
    4.They are only keeping both on to mask two really bad trades

  29. Blake October 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    I think Gomez needs to play every day.

    At first, Cuddyer was a fielding disaster at First. However, he improved dramatically.

    Cuddyer has stated publicly that he wants to be known as a ballplayer, not just a right fielder.

    So, work Cuddyer out at third base and see if he can handle it. This gives you Young, Gomez and Span in the outfield with Kubel as a reserve.

  30. jkring October 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I think if Cuddyer is a team leader/player he goes to Gardy and says give me a shot at 3B. Everyone who has seen Valencia says hes not ready. Cuddy failed at 3b because he was young and was looking over his shoulder anyway, now he could relax.

  31. mike October 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    I dont think anyone should be worried about these players breaking the bank. Delmon was arbitration eligible last season and received a 20% pay decrease I believe. Since both he and carlos had worse years this year than last I dont see them getting a significant pay increases next year. Also the twins are paying punto and cabrera 4 mil each so if you want the twins to cut the fat have them stop signing 30+ year old slap hitting infielders.

    I also believe that if either of these players had any trade value they would be gone. Coming off the worst years of their careers I dont think that will have change.

  32. Matt October 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Cuddyer would be a terrible thirdbaseman. He was bad 5 years ago when he was younger and not coming off a 5 year lay off. Playing cuddy at third is like playing kubel in the OF; by putting these players in situations where they become one of the worst defensive players at the position really diminishes what they add offensively. Putting players into positions where they are terrible just to get a few extra mediocre bats into the lineup hurts the team.

  33. The Apple Capital Rumble October 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Agreed… Cuddyer isn’t a third baseman. And to say that he was terribly at first base fails to point to the fact that he had one error in the games that he played at first replacing Morneau. Obviously, judging defensive ability solely on the metric of errors is flawed, but still. Cuddyer can be a “ball player” without playing third base. He couldn’t cut it at third when he was younger, more agile and had been consistently playing there. The Brewers are in a position to deal both JJ Hardy and Mat Gamel. Gamel is more of a liability at third, but Hardy could easily make the transition. Since the Brewers are looking to deal both players, they can be had on the cheap with the emergence of Alcides Escobar at short and Casey McGeehe at third. Gamel was a stud [offensively] at third base coming up through their system and has been projected to be a quality offensive third baseman. He seems to have a similar path as Cuddyer, but the Twins can opt to not switch Gamel’s position and keep developing him at third (unlike what we did with Cuddyer). If Gamel doesn’t pan out, Valencia can be thrown in once he’s ready (since minor league reports suggest some seasoning). Even if Valencia is ready, it wouldn’t be a terribly thing for the Twins to have a glut of capable infielders at the major league level instead of the bag full of glorified utility players we’ve got now (Tolbert, Harris, Punto, and Buscher).

  34. IA twins fan October 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    mike wants wins, i was only referring to Delmon’s offensive production. He is an above average offensive player, not an above average player. Offense + defense + position + replacement = WAR. So my opinion of his true talent would be .6 -1.2 -.75 + 2 = 0.65 WAR.

  35. mike wants wins October 13, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks IA.

  36. matt October 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I agree with a few of the posters regarding the possibility of trading Cuddyer. I highly doubt that Bill Smith would trade Cuddyer after the season he just had, but that is why Smith has not been a very good GM thus far. If he could land Javier Vasquez (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 238 Ks) for Cuddyer then I would have to think no one would complain. In Cuddyer’s 6 years as a full time player, he has averaged a .271 avg, 19 HRs, and 74 RBI – numbers that Delmon Young should be able to put up if he is given the opportunity to play every day.

    Its funny that everyone wanted to trade Cuddyer last offseason after he came off such a disappointing year, and now when he could actually bring in some solid talent and allow Gomez and Young play every day, people are saying to keep Cuddyer.

  37. matt October 13, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    Another point is that if Cuddyer were to get traded, Delmon could have his natural position (RF) back. He had fielding values of 4.4 and -6.8 in RF compared to his -16.4 and -16 in LF for the Twins. Also compare that to Cuddyer’s fielding value of -16.5 this past season (some of that has some to do with Cuddyer playing 1B).

  38. mike wants wins October 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    I’d trade Cuddy for Vasquez, sure, but do you really think they can get him for Cuddy (I also don’t think there is any way they trade Cuddy this offseson).

    • Nils October 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

      between matt diaz, jason heyward, jordan schaefer and nate mcclouth, im not sure there is room for Cuddy in their outfield.

      But that would be a great deal

  39. Nils October 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    GOMEZ= way more entertaining and I hate watching Delmon stumble around the outfield, HE CAN’T RUN

  40. TT October 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    The Twins just came off winning another division and people want to trade one of their core players, Cuddyer, in order to give playing time to unproven young prospects who have struggled? That is not going to happen.

    The folks who want to trade for JJ Hardy need to take a look at his performance this year. There is a reason he spent most of August at AAA. He was making Nick Punto’s offense look like a plus. And he wasn’t any better after being recalled in September. Its possible Hardy will return to form. But taking that chance isn’t worth giving up anything of value, much less a major league starting pitcher. Its possible Punto will have a good year next year or Tolbert will continue to hit like he did after being recalled. Those gambles don’t cost anything.

  41. matt October 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    This was written by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports a couple months ago regarding the Braves and Javier Vasquez:

    “On another note, Knobler spoke to a “scout familiar with the Braves” who suggests that Atlanta could consider dealing Javier Vazquez, who makes $11.5MM this year and next, for a big bat to help out the struggling Braves offense.”

    Also this was written in July regarding a possible Cuddyer for Escobar trade which would clear up room for the outfielders and bring in an elite young shortstop: http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4305723&name=olney_buster

  42. matt October 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    “He was making Nick Punto’s offense look like a plus”

    Really? In 115 games Hardy had a higher average, 10 more HRs and 11 more RBI than Punto had in 125 games. Also, Hardy is an elite shortstop who can actually “pick it” and has a strong enough arm to get it to the first baseman without bouncing it or lobbing it over. Hardy was ranked only behind Yunel Escobar and Jimmy Rollins in fielding over the past three years.

    If the Twins sign a veteran pitcher they will have Baker/Slowey/Blackburn/Duensing in the rotation and will not have a need for two additional underachieving pitchers (Perkins or Liriano) that the Brewers should be happy to get in return. So the Twins would actually have a real shortstop with some range and an arm with some pop instead of the utility players they have been trotting out there (Cabrera was good while he was here, but he has no range or arm anymore).

  43. TT October 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    “In 115 games Hardy had a higher average, 10 more HRs and 11 more RBI than Punto had in 125 games”

    I exaggerated. But so do you. Hardy had a higher average than Punto by one point and a lower on base percentage by 35 points. And Hardy’s defense is nothing special.

    “If the Twins sign a veteran pitcher they will have Baker/Slowey/Blackburn/Duensing in the rotation and will not have a need for two additional underachieving pitchers (Perkins or Liriano)”

    I suppose they can always go with Gabino if those guys don’t work out. The fact is the Twins don’t have a surplus of pitching. Duensing is likely a middle reliever and Slowey may or may not return to form. And its unlikely the Twins will get through the year with only five starters and that next fall there will be some other “underachieving pitcher” on the list to be traded. As I recall, Baker, Guerrier, and Crain have all been on that list. If you get rid of every young pticher who underachieves you don’t have many pitchers left.

  44. The Apple Capital Rumble October 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    “Its possible Punto will have a good year next year or Tolbert will continue to hit like he did after being recalled. Those gambles don’t cost anything”

    Those gambles do cost something. Nick Punto’s defense took a huge step back last season, and his range will only continue to decrease. Its possible Nick Punto will have a good year next year, but the odds of that are HUGELY against that. Nick Punto had one good season, and several seasons that are borderline terrible. If it weren’t for Gardy being so insistent on playing him because of his “scrapiness” and “being a ball player” he wouldn’t have ever seen the major league playing time he’s seen with the Twins. Matt Tolbert’s the same way. Look at his numbers in the minors and majors and there’s no way he will sustain the performance he did over the last few weeks. The last thing the Twins need is yet another player on the roster who has no business being an everyday starter.

    JJ Hardy on the other hand has a track records of good performance. His defensive and offensive stats throughout the minors and majors are strong. His numbers were far from impressive this year, but his demotion to AAA had to do in large part to service time. The Brewers sent him down conveniently long enough to push back arbitration another year to make him more enticing on the trade market. TT are you honestly saying that JJ Hardy wouldn’t be an upgrade over Nick Punto, Orlando Cabrera, Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris or any other inhouse options? Plus, he’d be cheaper than Punto or Cabrera through arbitration. And if the Twins would only need to give up a player like Glen Perkins and a propsect in return, you wouldn’t take that deal? Perkins is easily replaceable. I’m not sold on dealing Liriano because I think he could come back to form if nothing else in the bullpen, but we could replace Perkins with any number of pitchers already in our system.

  45. matt October 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    “Hardy’s defense is nothing special” – his defense is elite – he was a plus 19 in 2008 alone(meaning he made 19 more plays than the average shortstop – only two shortstops were better. Also, Hardy’s previous two seasons offensively he averaged a .280 average, with 25 HRs, and 77 RBI. I don’t know why you would not want a guy like that on your team. Sure Hardy had a poor 2008, but guys are not going to have great years every year – they are going to have some bad years during their career.

    Also, I’m not sure if you watched Duensing pitch this year at all or not, but he posted a 5-1 record with an ERA of 2.73 as a starter and a 0-1 record with an ERA of 5.17 – I’d say he’s likely a starter – he was a starter at Nebraska and was a starter throughout his minor league career. I’m not really sure why you would say he is likely a reliever.

    I don’t think that Baker, Guerrier, or Crain have been on the underachieving list. But anyways, you would want to keep 7-8 starting pitchers on the staff next year? Because I doubt that Liriano and/or Perkins will start the year in AAA.

  46. The Apple Capital Rumble October 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    The surgery done to Kevin Slowey is one that he should be able to come back relatively easily. It wasn’t his elbow or shoulder, so I’m not worried about him. Hopefully Liriano can be more effective next year either in the rotation or the bullpen. If you look at Perkins’ career numbers, they’re very average. If he were to be included in a deal, we could replace him especially if it would bring us a shortstop (of which he wants to remain) that we would as more than a stopgap.

    We traded away Jason Bartlett and this could be a chance to get a younger shortstop whose proven he can play in the bigs. He would bring the type of return in the neighborhood of a .280 hitter with 25 home run power (which Nick Punto could only have a wet dream about).

    Hardy would be a player that could stop this carousel at the position. Say a few years down the road he is unimpressive like he was last year (which he’s almost sure to bounce back from and even still, his bad year last year has been proven to be average Nick Punto), we wouldn’t have to lose that much. Perkins (or other pitchers tossed around as possible trading chips) isn’t going to turn into Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.

  47. ralf October 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    Young and Gomez are both going to be good players someday soon, but I think Young will have more value for the Twins. What he needs to learn is that if he swings at the first pitch every time, he’ll never be ahead in the count. You’d think he’d have noticed that Mauer, Morneau, Span, and Cuddyer have longer at-bats and better numbers. It’s not a complete coincidence.

    JJ Hardy will frustrate the hell out of Twins fans if comes to MN. He has to be one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. His numbers look good at the end of the year, but it’s because he hits .400 for three weeks straight and then hits .200 for six weeks. His defense is very good now, but if the Brewers keep him he’ll be playing 3B because he can’t stay at SS if his range declines at all.

  48. the Dragon October 13, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    I am confused. JJ Hardy is an elite ML SS so he plays in AAA. I guess if he was in AA he would already be in the HOF?

    Regards,

  49. TT October 13, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    “TT are you honestly saying that JJ Hardy wouldn’t be an upgrade over Nick Punto, Orlando Cabrera, Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris or any other inhouse options?”

    Yes. Hardy would not be an upgrade. He would just be another roll of the dice.

    “And if the Twins would only need to give up a player like Glen Perkins and a propsect in return, you wouldn’t take that deal? ”

    No – not even if it was just Perkins. I think Perkins has at least as good a shot at being a quality major league starter as Hardy does.

    “JJ Hardy on the other hand has a track records of good performance.”

    Hardy hit at the Mendoza line (25 for 125) in July and August before he was sent to AAA and not much better than that after he came back in September. In fact if you take away the month of May, he hit .188 on the year. Maybe this year was an aberration and he will hit like he did two
    years ago. But he didn’t really show many signs of it. Even at AAA in the PCL, he hit .254.

    “his defense is elite”

    No, it isn’t and the claim that it is just one more example of the limits of fielding statistics.

    “they are going to have some bad years during their career.”

    Not that bad.

    “he posted a 5-1 record with an ERA of 2.73 as a starte”

    Duensing pitched fine. I just think its likely the league will catch up to him. But whether it does or not, we won’t know until he has pitched a lot more innings than he has. He is hardly someone I would depend on to hold down a rotation slot next year.

    “he was a starter at Nebraska and was a starter throughout his minor league career. ”

    That is true of most major league relievers.

    “I don’t think that Baker, Guerrier, or Crain have been on the underachieving list. ”

    Then you haven’t been paying attention. There was a point with all three where they were to be traded for a “warm bucket of spit”.

    “Perkins (or other pitchers tossed around as possible trading chips) isn’t going to turn into Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.”

    He turned into Gabino this year – a minor league career reliever just converted to starter. That was the easily available replacement. This seems to be missing the central point – the Twins now have two spots in their rotation that are semi-secure, Blackburn and Baker. And they had no one ready at AAA to pitch. Humber is now gone, Mulvey is gone. Every year at this time the Twins have a pitching surplus and then the next season they are scrambling to fill holes in their rotation.

    “a younger shortstop whose proven he can play in the bigs”

    And who was sent down to AAA this year.

    “His numbers look good at the end of the year, but it’s because he hits .400 for three weeks straight and then hits .200 for six weeks.”

    This year he only had one streak – the rest of the time he was from bad to terrible. Its certainly possible he will do better next year, but no one should count on it.

  50. matt October 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    “There was a point with all three where they were to be traded for a warm bucket of spit.”

    When was this? Baker pitched poorly at the beginning of the year due to an injury slowing him. Guerrier was severely overused last year and struggled at the end of the year. And Jesse Crain was recovering from his surgery from a couple years back. There was never really any trade talks regarding any of them.

    “And who was sent down to AAA this year” – Did you not notice that they have Alcides Escobar (Brewers #1 overall prospect and #8 overall prospect in MLB) who has been waiting at AAA. Also, by sending Hardy down to AAA they were able to keep Hardy under team control for an extra year.

    “Yes, Hardy would not be an upgrade” – LOL – Seth, please chime in here. I would love to see what your opinion regarding this statement is! I guess this guy would rather see Punto and Tolbert battle out the SS spot next year.

  51. Matt October 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Delmon has a good chance of maturing into a serious hitting threat…..but where I have a problem is the fact that it doesn’t seem like he is a true BASEBALL player. You know the kind of guy that plays for the team and not just himself, is into the game and always has good baseball I.Q. That is my beef with Delmon.
    With that said you just can’t have two boneheads in one lineup, you can get away with one but not two. One has to go.

  52. TT October 14, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    “Did you not notice that they have Alcides Escobar (Brewers #1 overall prospect and #8 overall prospect in MLB) ”

    Right – the Brewers sent one of the major league’s “elite” shortstops to AAA because they had a hot prospect who needed to play.

    “When was this? ”

    Like I said, you need to pay attention over more than one year.

    “I guess this guy would rather see Punto and Tolbert battle out the SS spot next year.”

    That would make more a lot more sense than dealing for some other team’s failure to add to the list of options. You left Brendan Harris off your list. And Trevor Plouffe. Are all of those players likely to be a lot better than Hardy? No. But there are four of them to choose from and it is very likely at least one of them will do a lot better than Hardy did last year.

    ‘Also, by sending Hardy down to AAA they were able to keep Hardy under team control for an extra year.”

    Why didn’t the Twins think of that with Joe Mauer? They should have sent him to the minor leagues and he wouldn’t be a free agent until after 2011. They did do basically that with Perkins, but they sure wouldn’t have if he was healthy and pitching well.

    The suggestion that the Brewers sent Hardy to AAA as a roster manipulation ignores his extremely poor performance. That affected the timing of the move, but it wasn’t the reason for it.

  53. Seth October 14, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Joe Mauer could have been a free agent after this year, but the Twins signed him long term.

    I’m kind of in the middle on Hardy to the Twins. Although I do believe he is a better option than any of the current players, I agree that there was a reason that he was sent to AAA other than to make him more valuable in trade. He was not playing well offensively or defensively. But he does have some track record. No question he is incredibly streaky. Anyone who has had him on a fantasy team probably doesn’t like him. As was stated, he’ll crush everything for a couple of weeks and then go into a 2 month slump. But the overall numbers are good.

    So really, in my mind, it just comes down to what it would take to acquire him. If you can do it for a reasonable package, great. If not, you pass.

  54. nweber3 October 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    The Twins are never going to get past a team like the Yankees in the playoffs with hitters like Gomez and Young. You go down the Yankees lineup and it’s filled with professional hitters who take good at bats. The twins have Span, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Kubel. Punto put together some good at bats too, but for the most part it’s just a bunch of free swinging hacks with no approach. With the outfield depth we have in the minors it would be in the Twins best interest to deal either or both. Maybe they’ll mature into good hitters, but do we really want to wait for that and give them millions to do so.
    Would a package of Young or Gomez, Liriano, Perkins, and Angel Morales be a good enough offer for someone like Roy Halladay. I know the Twins don’t have a track record of ever doing anything like this, but for my own interest if your the Blue Jays, is that a good enough deal to get the ball rolling?

  55. jhm47 October 17, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Dump Young, at least get some good prospects for him. He might be a good DH someday (provided he learns to put some good at-bats together), but he does not have the instincts to be a good outfielder, and his arm is suspect. He also has a poor attitude, and seems to play for DY, and not the team.

    As for Gomez, he is a tremendous talent defensively. He has speed, a good arm, and pretty good hands. With some more experience, he could be a gold glover. Offensively, he stinks. His at-bats are terrible, and he overswings in crucial situations. How much of this is due to his limited command of the language? Would it help him to go to AAA for a year? Would spending a year with Orlando Cabrera as his mentor help him to understand the intricacies of hitting? I would say that spending a year at the AAA level would be more helpful for him. There, the coaches could help him with all aspects of his game. Spending a year with OCab as his mentor would help him with major league strategy, and also with learning to be a team player. Both approaches have merit for helping this tremendous talent to reach his potential, but I would vote for the AAA approach.

    In the meantime, Jason Pridie could cover the 4th outfield spot, and he’d do a pretty good job of it in my opinion.

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