August 1, 2008

Welcome Back? UPDATE!

Update (3:20 PM): And there we have it. Francisco Liriano is on his way to the Twin Cities and Livan Hernandez has been released. Joe Christensen also reports that the Twins have also cut ties with Craig Monroe and to take his place, Randy Ruiz will be brought up as the right-handed power bat off the bench.

Francisco Liriano may soon be back in Minnesota, La Velle Neal is reporting that there are "strong indications" that the Twins are leaning towards eating the remaining salary on the remainder of Livan Hernandez's $5 million deal that he signed over the off-season.

This move has been long-overdue and it shows just how little interest the Twins could generate from other clubs as they couldn't even find a fit for a second or even third-tier prospect. The Twins probably called around and once they figured out that there wasn't a match, they knew that what should've been done a month ago is the move they'll end up having to make.

The trading deadline came and went and there was little movement around the league. Despite a 3-team blockbuster trade and my favorite player of all time going to my least favorite team (I still can't say it), there was really no even semi-significant trades which makes one think that August could be a very busy month on the waiver wire. The Twins couldn't find a trade worth making at this time, which shouldn't really upset anyone. Although it'd be great to see the Twins finally be apart of a blockbuster mid-season trade, they are in contention with what they have and their recent surge is enough to be optimistic enough to believe that they can make it to the playoffs without any outside help. Also, with the eventual additions of both Liriano and Michael Cuddyer, adding both of those players is good enough in my mind to satisfy my desire for a trade.

The Twins will end up having to make other moves likely before the end of the season, such as what to do when Cuddyer comes back. They could choose to option Span back to Rochester to give him regular at bats before the September callups since other players don't have enough options to be sent down. I'm not going to be thrilled if the Twins choose to do this, since I don't see Brian Bass even making the playoff roster (if we make it), so I don't know why they'd feel the need to continue hanging onto him. But I guess crazier things have happened right? Also, there's a reasonable chance that Bass may slip through waivers this month with so many other players that are going to be placed on waivers possibly making other teams over look Bass. They could also choose to DFA Mike Lamb or Craig Monroe as well.

The Twins also received some good news regarding Alexi Casilla. His thumb doesn't appear to be as badly injured as Matt Tolbert's, which may allow the Twins to at least (for now) postpone surgery and allow him to just take a few weeks off and hopefully rejoin the Twins before the end of the season. This may be great news, however the team won't know for sure until sometime next week.

If the prognoses isn't good then, the Twins may search the waiver wire for a second baseman. Possibly Mark Grudzielanek may be a possibility. And the Nationals just recently announced that they've released Felipe Lopez who is just 28 and was at one time looking like one of the best, young offensive middle-infielders in the league. But since his breakout '05 season, Lopez hasn't been able to regain his power stroke but hopefully leaving Washington will relight a fire under him. He may be a possibility for the Twins, however Matt Tolbert also figures to be around sometime in the next month and the Twins just promoted Luke Hughes to Triple-A Rochester who also could be a September callup.

The Twins have plenty of options and additions that will either be coming from the minors or that are returning from injury to warrant their reasoning for not making a deal at yesterday's deadline. And really, could they (realistically) make a better move besides releasing Hernandez and replacing him with Liriano? I don't think so.

Game Ball vs. White Sox
Joe Mauer - Catcher

3-4, run, 2 RBI, walk
Twins win, 10-6.

What a game, eh?