Hunkering Down

23 Dec

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather terrorists beat me, that’s for sure. Fearing the 12 to 20 inches of snow that will be hitting central Minnesota later this afternoon, I left the Twin Cities Tuesday night. And now, we just wait. Should be fun! Anyway, still busy on several fronts, so again today, here are just a bunch of links for you to read. Hopefully you enjoy them:

Quick Free Agent Glance:

Alright, Twins seem to be looking at 3B, and needing a 3B. Some want to add a pinch hitter who, that’s all he does. Here are my top X at those various positions… what do you think?

Second Base:

1.)    Felipe Lopez, 2.)    Orlando Hudson, 3.)    Mark Derosa, 4.)    Adam Kennedy, 5.)    Jerry Hairston, 6.)    Orlando Cabrera

Third Base:

1.)    Miguel Tejada, 2.)    Adrian Beltre, 3.)    Mark Derosa, 4.)    Melvin Mora, 5.)    Joe Crede

Pinch Hitting Types (are you/we interested in any of these guys?):

1.)    Mike Sweeney, 2.)    Jim Thome, 3.)    Matt Stairs

 Do any of those names intrigue you? That’s all for now Please feel free to discuss here.  

I POSTED THE BELOW LATE YESTERDAY. THERE ARE  A FEW MORE LINKS FOR YOU TO CHECK OUT, IF YOU LIKE:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No Podcast Tonight

The weather terrorists won. If there is really going to  be like 15 feet of snow coming to central Minnesota between Tuesday night and Friday night, I am going to head out of town and enjoy my Christmas holiday a little early. Therefore, no new podcast tonight. The podcast will start up again next Tuesday night, December 29th, at 9:00 p.m. Until then, here are a few links for you to peruse:

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22 Responses to “Hunkering Down”

  1. Andrew December 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I wouldn’t include DeRosa as a 2B option. He doesn’t have the range. He’d be acceptable at third, however. I’d also take Beltre at 3B over Tejada.

  2. Gamer December 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    OK, I don’t like DeRosa at all. He is a utility player plus power. He is 35 years old and was never that great to begin with. Let’s not forget that he was dumped by Cleavlend early last year. He is also going to want the $ of a 2B who hits 20 HR a year. All of this leads to a big NO in my book.

    Lopez is the best name on the bunch, and fills the 2 whole well. I would also be ok with bringing back Orlando Cabrera if it was a discount price.

    I would be thrilled if they brought in Jim Thome. He would be able to get the ball over that baggie in right field… oh wait, never mind!

  3. CHermesZ December 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Adam Kennedy, if they can get him. Possible #2 hitter? I know he’s lefty ect…but his line last year in Oakland- .289 .348 .410 .758
    Include 20 SB. It’s worth a shot?

    Third base- I would rather they just threw Valencia out there. Inexpensive, no tolbert or punto and give him a chance to learn. I know that’s not the twins way, but they need to take some chances.

    As to Thome. It would be nice to have him just so he can’t hit for the White Sox. I got to see his two majestic HR’s against Rick Reed several years ago. I still cannot believe he hit the white curtain.

  4. Joel Thingvall December 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    I would still like to see the Twins deal with San Diego for Kouz. Otherwise, bring back Crede. And do someone for second and make Punto the super backup.

    Bench: Punto, Tolbert, Morales…yes I would like a bat. Sweeney? Maybe. Thome, wow, that would be something…would make me want to DH him and play Kubel and make young a bench guy, again.

    The Red Sox look out of the 3rd base race, for now. So, Beltre is still out there.

    But, would like to see the Twins move pieces that they may not use…a veteran bullpen guy (Crain, Guerrier), Pridie, Casilla, Perkins. Even Swarzak could be tradebait at this point. And, I would dangle Liriano out there, still. And Harris. What happens to Harris in all of this?

    Waiting to see the Twins sign at least two minor league free agents. What gives?

    And Quinlan should be in the mix, for what he’s worth. But I would rather see a better bat.

    Hummm…thinking about Kennedy. Better bet than Punto. I just wish Punto wasn’t sitting there, looking for playing time.

  5. Ricky December 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Felipe Lopez would be a great get. Then I wouldn’t mind sliding Punto over to third for his defense, but i think Tejada, Mora, or Crede would be better stop gaps until Valencia is deemed ready.

    I really hope we don’t see a platoon of Harris and Tolbert at third.

    **it would be amazing if the Twins signed Chapman.. one can only wish

  6. Andy Darsow December 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Seth, I’m extremely interested in what you see in Mike Sweeney. Two or three years ago I would’ve been all in on him but not now, not even for a pinch hitting role. He does nothing for us, can’t play the field, doesn’t hit well, etc. We’d be better off going with Quinlan. He can still play all four corner spots and will hit as well as Sweeney. Less Power, yes, but not much anymore with Sweeney. Sweeney would be hurt in the first month without even playing the field. Tejada is an interesting name and I agree with him at #1. I like Hudson better than Lopez but would be happy with either. Should be interesting. I’m hoping for at least a move at 3B or 2B and a bench bat.

  7. Seth December 23, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    Andy – I’m not terribly interested in any of those final three names… The idea of even bringing them up would solely be pinch hitting and occasional DHing. Sweeney was very good in that role last year in Seattle. He won’t make more than $1 million. Good guy. Good patience. Good pop. Has transitioned into bench bat well now. I only mention these guys because a bench of Morales, Casilla, Tolbert and Pridie means that Punto will be batting for himself a lot in the ninth.

  8. Andy Darsow December 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Seth, totally agree on that one. We need a bench bat. Also, by signing a 3B or a 2nd baseman would at least allow Harris to strengthen the bench as well. We’ll see. I honestly can’t seem to convince myself that they will spend much more money with the payroll already at $90m before a Mauer extension. Maybe one guy but it will probably have to be a bargain.

  9. scot December 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Id love to have Thome bat available off the bench but what position can he play anymore? Morales, Tolbert or Casilla–plz not both, one OF-possibly Pridie, and Harris if we sign a 3B–probably Crede. Thats a pretty weak bench.

  10. USAFChief December 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    1. Beltre at third. For 3 years. I have no faith whatsoever that Valencia will ever be a decent MLB player. And I don’t like Tejada.

    2. Given Beltre, I can live with Punto at 2nd.

    3. Sweeney would be a nice bench bat/part time DH against LH pitching.

    4. Sign Mauer.

    I’d be OK with that offseason.

  11. Seth December 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    USA Chief – 1.) Why no faith in Valencia? Based on what? 2.) Why faith in Beltre returning to what he was a few years ago? Most call him an old-31.

  12. Josh December 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    I’m digging the links by all the guys. The OC and Delmon Young ones are pretty good reads in particular.

    Good list compiled by you though, Seth. All the right targets appear on your list. My guy would be DeRosa, and I’m confused as to why we haven’t given him his 3 years and 20 mill already! I’d pencil him in at 3B of course to start the season, as we could live down Punto playing a mediocre at best 2B. Though if someone goes down, shift him over to 2B and give Harris some playing time. Or when Delmon has his sure first half slump, move him out to LF and give Harris some time in 3B in that case as well. He makes perfect sense to me, his value is unsurpassed in my opinion.

    Other than that, the options you have are about on key with mine. Lopez, Hudson, Kennedy- all great adds at the 2B front. Tejada’s another good option at 3B too with Kouz. It’s also too bad Beltre is out of our price range/straight stupid with his asking price! A couple guys that were linked to us elsewhere like Uribe or Peralta could help too, minimally, but still could improve the position. Plus of course OC and Crede would be *acceptable* all the same.

    Thome is my guy on the “Big Bat” front. He’s one guy who could still put it over the fence every couple days.

  13. mike December 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    Are these guys possible bench guys/pinch hitters or are they too expensive. Seems like they should have a power hitting right handed bat on the bench.

  14. mike December 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Sorry, forgot to include the names I was referring to in the above comment – Ryan Garko and Johny Gomes

  15. dave December 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    I thought Harris had been abducted or something. Lots of older guys, some aging more quickly than others. Agreed, we need to seriously upgrade at either second or third base. But for the most part, I like our team. I’d much rather put the money into Joe’s contract, extending Morneau’s, and locking some of the younger guys into long-term contracts, ala what Cleveland did a few years ago.

  16. USAFChief December 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Seth: 1) Valencia is 25, and just this season reached AAA. His minor league numbers are decent, but nothing special. His glove may or may not be major league quality. I don’t want the Twins to spend 2 1/2 seasons learning they still have a hole at third base.

    2) Except for 2009, when he was injured, Beltre has been a good, consistent player in Seattle. From 2006 through 2008, he put up an OPS between .780 and .800 every year in a pitcher’s park. That, combined with all world defense, makes him a very valuable player. There is no reason to think, at 31, he can’t repeat those numbers for another few years.

    The time to win with this team is now, while the core is in their prime, and the young pitching is still affordable. Valencia might turn into Beltre offensively–might–by 2012, and is almost surely never going to be in Beltre’s league defensively. Beltre is as close to a sure thing as you’ll get at medium prices and fills a big hole.

    • Kunza December 24, 2009 at 9:37 am #

      We’ve spent 2 1/2 years realizing we have a huge hole with Nick Punto?

      Same thing!

  17. JK December 24, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    Russel Branyan? He’s an injury risk but projects to hit 240/330/490ish. He’s not a good defender(career UZR -7)at 3B but he can mash. If Delmon fails, he has a DH caliber bat and Kubel could move to LF with Valencia comming up. He won’t require big money or a long contract. Not saying he’s a must have, but I think he’s a reasonable option and an upgrade on what we have.

  18. Topper December 24, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    Off my plane now. So that’s good. Thanks for the nod!

    Are we not considering easy trade candidates, because I’d rank Uggla and Kouz on your lists somewhere probably…

  19. Han Joelo December 24, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Hmmm. How about Jack Cust as a bench bat? Ah, who cares about a bench bat. This is the AL. Best to get all the starting positions filled with hitters first. Lopez would be great, I guess. Kouz would be the guy for third.

    I was always a Beltre fan living in Seattle, even though he never came close to the 48 homers again. There’s just something about him that makes me wonder if, when he was signed (Dominican?) he, was 16-18 years old–and actually 20. Which would put him further into his decline. At any rate, he’ll follow the money, I suspect.

    You have to wonder if the FO has a list of ‘Joe Approved’ guys, and any dollars they spend on such players would go towards the ‘hometown discount.’

  20. Roy Hobbs December 24, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    Beltre is clearly out of the Twins’ price rnage. It seems to re-sign Crede and wait on Valencia is probably the best course.

    I love O Hud’s energy and glove at 2B. He can run. They are stuck with Punto for next year because of his contract. Hopefully Gardy uses him as he should, as a utility guy.

    Thome would be a great pick-up. He is a true gentleman and I believe he has a career 1.000 BA in Minnesota. That is only a slight exageraation. With Delmon Young still a huge question mark in my mind, Kubel could split time in left, allowing for more ABs for big Jim.

  21. Jack December 28, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    As much as I like Jim Thome too, he makes no sense for the Twins because he hits lefty. We have enough left handed power, the key would be to get some right handed power.

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