What Options do the Minnesota Twins Have Left This Offseason?

The Minnesota Twins Current Salaries and Payroll Situation:Minnesota Twins 2009 Payroll and Salaries

C – Joe Mauer – $10.5MM

1B – Justin Morneau – $10.6MM

2B – Alexi Casilla – $450K

3B – Brendan Harris/Brian Buscher – $450K

SS – Nick Punto – 4.25M

LF – Delmon Young – $700K

CF – Denard Span – $400K

RF – Michael Cuddyer – $6.75MM

DH – Jason Kubel – $1.3MM+

SP – Scott Baker – $423K

SP – Francisco Liriano – $400K

SP – Kevin Slowey – $400K

SP – Nick Blackburn – $400K

SP – Glen Perkins – $400K

RP – Joe Nathan – $11.25MM

RP – Jesse Crain – $1.7MM

RP – Matt Guerrier – $950K+

RP – Pat Neshek – $435K

RP – Boof Bonser – $433K

RP – Craig Breslow – $400K

RP – Jose Mijares – $400K

Bench – C – Mike Redmond – 950K

Bench – 3B – Brendan Harris/Brian Buscher – $450K

Bench – IF – Matt Tolbert – $400K

Bench – OF – Carlos Gomez – $400K

Others on Payroll: Mike Lamb – $3MM

That’s a full 25 man roster tallying to a cool $58.2 million dollars.

In 2007 before we let go of Hunter, Santana and Silva’s contracts, our team salary was at $71.4 million dollars, quite a bit higher than the 58.2 million we stand at now. It would appear as if we should have room to spend and that our team payroll could be anywhere from $70–80 million if management decided to spend at previous years’ numbers plus increase, leaving $12-22 million dollars of unspent payroll.

Ty Wigginton a Target of the Minnesota Twins at 3B

So what would our options be?

1. Trade for Adrian Beltre at 3B – Should be at a price $12 million next year and players (possibly a mix of Cuddyer/Perkins/Prospect)? Beltre added the Twins to his no-trade clause list most likely by recommendation of his agent Scott Boras in order to have bargaining chips down the road (i.e. compensation for waiving his no trade clause).

2. Sign Ty Wigginton at 3B – Expect $6-8 million/yr and 3 years plus based on Ty wanting a bigger contract than Casey Blake’s 3 year $17.5 million dollar deal to the Dodgers. Talks seem to have come to a halt in December and the Indians have shown interest.

3. Sign Joe Crede at 3B – Could go anywhere from $2-6 million based on his health and where the market for him is at in a month. The Giants seem to think he’s healthy enough to start pursuing. Should only be a one year deal.

4. Trade for Garrett Atkins at 3B – Salary in the $5 million dollar per year range. Rockies are asking quite a bit for him though (Slowey + Prospects).

So it looks like after the Blake and DeRosa talks fell through we’ve run a little thin on options. Unless we take a good stab at Ty Wigginton and give him a 3rd year, I believe we’ll be looking at another year of the Harris/Buscher platoon. Joe Crede’s another option that I think is viable, we just haven’t heard much about it from the Twins camp and depending on his health he probably wouldn’t be much of an impact. The Garrett Atkins deal just asks way too much from the Twins (no way the Twins give up Slowey for just about anyone at this point).

The Adrian Beltre option, if it went down as described, is preferred but would be a one year rental (plus this means having Scott Boras around which is certainly not something the Twins want to have on their plate). Grabbing Adrian Beltre though, even in a rental situation, makes this team incredibly dangerous and may be this team’s hope for a World Series run. Unfortunately, Seattle probably wants more than described above and are rumored to be unreasonable in the negotiations around a Beltre deal.

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Guys I would be looking to deal:Nick Blackburn - Minnesota Twins

Cuddyer – Big contract and we’re overstocked in the outfield.

Punto – Poor production and unfortunately a new big contract.

Perkins – The weakest of our young starting pitching staff. We have a lot of talent in the minors.

Kubel – If the price was right.

Harris/Buscher – If anybody wanted them in a package and we got a 3B in return.

Guys I would NOT be looking to deal:

Liriano/Slowey/Baker/Blackburn – All young cheap studs. Very underrated pitching staff. Many would argue Blackburn is in the “deal” mix if the price was right, but his performance in the play-in game was stellar. When October rolls around this guy will come to play.

Gomez/Young/Span – This is the future of our outfield. Young and loaded with talent.

Mauer/Morneau – For obvious reasons.

Casilla – Young, talented, fast, and versatile with a decent bat. Can’t look for much more out of a guy playing 2nd base these days.

Nick Punto, Minnesota TwinsSpeaking of Nick Punto’s new contract: Since when have the Twins overspent on somebody this much? A guy that hit .284 with 2 dingers last year (not to mention a .210 batting average the year before with nearly 500 AB’s!) can not be worth over 4 million a year. Now that the Cubs have signed a similar player in Aaron Miles to a deal half that of Punto’s (Miles has slightly more attractive stats including a .317 average last season) some Twins fans, including myself, have found themselves a little perplexed. Why would we give Punto such a big contract? Maybe he’s just that much of a “gamer” and has too much defensive ability to deny. Maybe he’s just simply that integral to our team chemistry. Maybe it’s just that inspiring to the clubhouse that when he actually hits a home run, it rallies our team for months. Maybe the Twins just have that much of an infatuation with him, knowing that we should trade him away, we signed him to a big contract in hopes some other team takes it on after we deal him away (for say J.J. Hardy, fair?) giving Nick some extra cash. Whatever the case, the contract was too big for a guy who it can be debated whether or not should have a starting job in the major leagues. I love the guy as a competitor, but his numbers are killing us. Fun fact: Nick Punto will be making roughly twice that of our entire starting rotation next year.

Another guy that we should hold onto and that’s been in dozens of rumors is Delmon Young. Ron Gardenhire was quoted in December as saying our starting lineup next year would consist of Span, Gomez, and Cuddyer obviously leaving out the former 1st overall pick Delmon Young. This seemingly opened the door for Young to be dealt and the rumors flew in. Delmon Young - Minnesota Twins

Wait a minute…

Yes he only hit 10 homers and yes he only hit .290 last year. But, the guy did that as a 22 year old in the majors. At 22! It seems like sometimes we drool over prospects that do that in the minors at the same age. I would hope we give him plenty time to develop being that there aren’t many guys in the game with as high of a ceiling as Delmon. He’s the definition of a low risk, high potential type of player that I would think the Twins would love to have. Worst case scenario, he doesn’t pan out and we pull one of our talented guys playing well in the minors up to fill in, but I really think this guy could do us wonders in a few years as long as his attitude problems are kept in check.

I’m certainly hoping that the Gardenhire quote was a ploy to increase Cuddyer’s trade value.

In other AL Central news today:

Former White Sox Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. could be heading back to the Mariners.



Comments

  1. How bout a trade of one of your young starters such as Boof Bosner for David Fresse of the Cardinals. We have entirely too many quality 3B prospects and it is starting to get really crowded. He is solid on Defense and has some pop plus he is cheap.

    • Tyler George says:

      @FlimtotheFlam,

      With Liriano, Baker, Slowey, and Blackburn as our solid 1-4, and Perkins, Humber, and Mulvey battling it out for that 5th spot over the course of the season, the Twins should have solid depth at starting pitching. Whether or not we value Boof as a reliever is still in question but I would probably consider this a steal for the Twins (considering Freese was the Cardinals Minor League PoY and we are all kind of over Boof at this point).

      However, the Twins have a solid young 3B prospect by the name of Danny Valencia who’s rumored to be about 2 years away. So in the end would gaining Freese really help us? Hopefully the Twins are eying someone more MLB ready who could have immediate impact. In the end though, it would be tough to turn down such a value add in Freese to the Twins organization.

  2. You might want to update your projections. This just in Pat Neshek had surgery a few months ago and will not play this year. I’m not sure how you missed that if you are a true fan you would have known that.

  3. Shut up Darin.

  4. So rather than complement the man on a nice article, you chose to question his fanhood? Classy.

  5. Valencia has shown massive up side. I hope the Twins keep him!
    He's shown to be an athlete.

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