July 11, 2007

Thursday's Thoughts

Twins Possible Trade Options (Part 1: 3rd Base)

In order for the Twins to make a run at the division and the wild card, many think they'll need to acquire at least 1 bat. The major weak spots in the batting order are at 3rd Base, Left Field, and Designated Hitter. Nick Punto has played outstanding when it comes to defense, but he's been a big dud offensively. In 2006, Nick had his best season as a pro, hitting .290 with .350+ OBP. Everyone loves Nick's hustle, but his bat is hurting the Twins and even though in the last week or so, it's improved, it's not something I suspect is going to last.

Here are 3rd base some options the Twins may consider at the deadline:

Chad Tracy, Diamonbacks

Salary: $2,750,000
Age: 27
Throws: Right
Bats: Left
Season: .263 avg., 6 HR, 28 RBI, 26 R, 0 SB

Reason: The Diamonbacks are in the middle of a youth movement (in their lineup). And even though Chad Tracy is only 27 years old, youngster Mark Reynolds has out performed him this season in less games than Tracy. The biggest problem is that since Tracy has a very friendly contract (2008: $3.75 M, 2009: $4.75 M, 2010: $7 (Club Option, $1 M buyout) the D-Backs may be more reluctant to trade him and therefore may request more in a trade than what he's probably actually worth.

Wilson Betemit, Dodgers

Salary: $405,000
Age: 26
Throws: Right
Bats: Switch
Season: .206 avg., 9 HR, 24 RBI, 19 R, 0 SB

Reason: Because he's stuck behind a crowded infield and there are a few ML ready players waiting their turns in both the minors and on the bench. Betemit is definitely the odd man out.

Ty Wiggington, Devil Rays

Salary: $2,700,000
Age: 29
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season: .269 avg., 13 HR, 42 RBI, 40 R, 1 SB

Reason: Because he's also in a crowded infield and the Devil Rays are stuck in a youth movement right now and the almost 30 year old does not have a real future in TB.

Melvin Mora, Orioles

Salary: $7,758,503
Age: 35
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season: .266 avg., 12 HR, 41 RBI, 46 R, 7 SB

Reason: There haven't been a ton of reports on him being moved (but some), but with the state that the Oriole fracnchise is in, it's only a mater of time before they start a fire sale and unload the older players. He’d most likely be just a rental play until Matt Moses is (hopefully) ready to take the hot corner, so I don’t see him being any type of long-term solution.

Mike Lowell, Red Sox

Salary: $9,000,000
Age: 33
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season: .300, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 39 R, 2 SB

Reason: The BoSox would like to add a first baseman (ei. Mark Teixiera) and move Kevin Youkilis back to 3rd base. In order to do this, they'd have to move Mike Lowell and his expiring contract. He's older, and more expensive than the others on this list, but he may be the one that could help us the most from the beginning. He's more expensive and the only way I see us getting him is if we (A) Trade at least 1-2 top prospects or (B) Trade Torii Hunter which would be redundant because Mike Lowell wouldn't help us more than Torii Hunter would. The Red Sox would have to pay most of the salary for any deal to actually get done.

Edwin Encarnacion, Reds

Salary: $407,500
Age: 24
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season: .270, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 32 R, 4 SB

Reason: The Reds don't care for his attitude and therefore he's been in the Cincy doghouse since he was promoted to the bigs in 2005. He has a world of talent, but would benefit with a change of scenery. Unfortunately, the Reds are more likely to unload their older/more expensive talent (ei. Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr.), but they could trade Encarnacion and start over at the 3rd base position.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres

Salary: $380, 800
Age: 25
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season: .228, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 23 R, 0 SB

Reason: This guy has a ton of power potential, but with Chase Headley on his tale, and with Kouz underperforming so far this year, he could be a candidate to be moved.

Mike Lamb, Astros

Salary: $2,700,000
Age: 31
Throws: Right
Bats: Left
Season: .295 avg., 7 HR, 25 RBI, 30 R, 0 SB

Reason: This guy is (to me) a Twins-type player. He hits for marginal power, he's a veteran, and he is a good clubhouse guy. He's making just under $3,000,000 this year, so he's in the price range still for the Twins.

Joel Guzman, Devil Rays

Salary: $380,000
Age: 22
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Season (AAA): .262 avg., 13 HR, 45 RBI, 32 R, 7 SB

Reason: The D-Rays may or may not trade Joel Guzman, but with the crowded infield in both the majors and the minors, he may be the one to be moved.

Minor League Notes:

Rochester Red Wings
No Game Scheduled

New Britain Rock Cats
No Game Scheduled.

Ft. Myers Miracle lost to the Jupiter Hammerheads, 3-0.
Winner: Brett Sinkbeil (4-4, 3.55)
Loser: Zach Ward (2-12, 3.14)
Notes: Despite outhitting the Hammerheads, 7-6, the Miracle just couldn't put anything together. Erik Lis had the only extra base hit (a double). Steven Tolleson had two hits.

Beloit Snappers
No Game Scheduled.

GCL Twins beat GCL Reds, 3-1.
Winner: Michael McCardell (2-0, 2.50)
Loser: Jamie Arneson (2-3, 4.29)
Save: Danny Rondon (5)
Notes: Glen Perkins pitched 2 innings, allowing 1 hit and struck out 2. It was a promising first game back. He's been out with a strained shoulder muscle. David Hernandedz hit 3 doubles and scored a run. Ben Revere went 1-5.

Elizabethton Twins the Princeton Devil Rays, 15-1.
Winner: Henry Reyes (2-1, 4.76)
Loser: Tyree Hayes (1-2, 6.29)
Notes: The Twins offense was at it again. Rene Tosoni had 4 hits, 3 runs, and 2 runs batted in. Diebinson Romero hit his 4th HR of the season and collected 5 RBIs. Rene Leveret had 3 RBI's and Starling De Los Santos had 2.