November 14, 2007

Twins acquire Monroe

Yesterday afternoon, the Twins acquired outfielder Craig Monroe from the Chicago Cubs for the infamous Player-To-Be-Named-Later.

Monroe is a career .256 hitter with a .749 OPS. He is coming off of his worst season so far where he hit .219 with 12 home runs in 122 games split between the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. He has hit well against the Twins and at the Metrodome.
Career vs. Twins: .322 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI's in 79 games (283 AB's)
Career at Metrodome: .304 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI's in 35 games (125 AB's)
Obviously, the Twins are hoping that he can duplicate numbers similar to these and hopefully he can prove to be a good pick-up for the offensively weak Twins.

The move is a bit of a head-scratcher, though. The Cubs were most likely to non-tender him, which would make him a free agent. But since he was traded, the Twins will need to now offer him arbitration where he could make upwards of $5 Million. But if he were on the open-market, he likely wouldn't get that in a multi-year deal.

Another big concern is who will the PTBNL be? Last time we traded with the Cubs, we ended up trading promising young Adam Harben for Phil Nevin who only had a handful of AB's in a Twins uniform. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and Harben later needed Tommy John Surgery, but I am just hoping we don't end up sending a guy like Zach Ward or Kyle Waldrop in return (since it will probably be a pitcher). Hopefully it's a low-level reliever with little upside, such as Adam Hawes.

The next question is where does he play? He'll likely platoon in left-field and designated hitter with Jason Kubel. Monroe is better vs. lefty's and Kubel is better vs. righties. Although I think that most Twins fans would prefer to just see Kubel everyday instead of seeing him strictly vs. righties.

Joe Christensen also notes that Monroe and Torii Hunter are very close friends and even work out together in the off-season, which probably won't play a big role in the hope of re-signing Hunter, although it is interesting. If only we would've traded for Frenchy instead... Perhaps that would've made a bigger difference? We may never know.

But according to USA Today, Monroe said this regarding Torii Hunter:
"I'll definitely be tugging at him to stay," Monroe said. "Something I've always wanted to do is play alongside him. Playing next to each other, I think I can help him out a little bit."
I think that it's a little encouraging to "Torii lovers", but I don't think it will be that big of a difference.

Twins-Yankees talk about Johan Santana

According to Hank Steinbrenner, Twins GM Bill Smith and Yankees GM Brian Cashman have recently had a conversation in regards of a possible trade involving Johan Santana.
"I think they're going to want a lot if they're going to trade him," Steinbrenner said. "Brian talked to their GM. He was just probing. They're trying to sign him. I don't blame them."
Alright, well Robinson Cano and Jose Tabata is a start. Now lets add one of the "Big Three" in Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy and you've got yourself a deal!

Although I don't see the Yankees parting with that much to get him, when they probably have th best chance of signing him in free agency next fall. It would be interesting to see what the Yankees would be willing to part with to acquire Johan. I'm thinking Cano and one of the pitchers (preferably Chamberlain) would be the high-end of any deal. But I do think that the Twins must insist on Cano being apart of any deal.

C.C. Sabathia wins the AL Cy Young

The AL Cy Young winner was announced yesterday and to a little surprise, the most deserving of the pitchers won the award. The only reason I say that is because it was speculated that Josh Beckett of the Red Sox was the front-runner to win the award over C.C. Sabathia of the Indians. As good as Beckett was this season, Sabathia was still better.

I was most surprised with the number of first-place votes that Sabathia received compared to Beckett. Sabathia received 19 of the 28 first-place votes. Beckett received only 8 and John Lackey received the other first-place vote. Also receiving a vote was Twins-ace Johan Santana. I am surprised that J.J. Putz didn't receive a single vote, after having a fantastic season where he allowed just 11 runs in almost 72 innings and struck out 82 while picking up a league-leading 40 saves. I thought that he would've received at least 1 vote. Oh well.

Sabathia and Beckett's stats were very similar, and the only thing that really separated the two was the fact that Sabtathia pitched over 40 more innings. Although some may not think that's a big deal, but it really is. It shows that he stayed healthy the entire season and went longer into the games. I think that durability is overlooked too much in a sport with a 162-game season.

On somewhat of a side-note, I voted for C.C. Sabtahia for my "End of the Season Award Winners." I can also safely say that I'll probably be right on Alex Rodriguez as well.


Dianna said...

After last season, I'm not sure that losing Ward or Waldrop would be that great a loss. Waldrop did manage to turn things around toward in the end of the FSL, but we are still left with the question of can he pitch at the AA level, let alone the AAA level. Ward pretty much looked dead by the end of the season after spending most of it not being able to buy a win at a garage sale. Will he be able to make the jump to the next level? I think we may see them moved up to make room for incoming pitchers more than anything else.

Josh's Thoughts said...

I agree that they definitely aren't our top pitching prospects, but I still would like to see what they've got.

Zach Ward was on one the worst offensive team in the FSL and he should definitely be given another shot. The only problem is most of the batters that were on that team will be on the same team next season.

Waldrop still has quite a bit of upside, although it is dwindling. From reports, he just didn't have it in him this season and his head just seemed to be other places.

The reports are now saying that the Twins will send a "bottom tier" prospect in return. Which I think will exclude either Ward or Waldrop. Could be Adam Hawes, though. Or possibly Jose Lugo.

Thanks for the response.