December 9, 2008

Winter Meetings: Day 1 Review

The Winter Meetings got under way in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday and already we've heard our fair share of rumors regarding the Twins. The Twins did make it more clear that they are really just looking for one infielder instead of two, something many Twins fans were probably aware of but didn't want to accept. I don't include Nick Punto in that though. They also made it clear that they are willing to increase payroll which is something that is great to hear!

But here are some of the rumors from day one at the Winter Meetings...

Delmon Young's name came up a few times. Most notably is a new rumor involving the Philadelphia Phillies and infield prospect Jason Donald. Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News reported the rumor and also mentioned that the Twins are also seeking relief help along with an infielder. Almost a month ago, I mentioned how the Phillies could be a fit to fill two holes the Twins currently have. The two players I mentioned were Donald and reliever Ryan Madson.

The Phillies had one of the best bullpens in baseball last year which was an integral part to the teams success, which was winning the World Series. So obviously they'd like to keep that group in tact. The Phillies don't seem that interested in what's out there on the market and need to find a good right-handed outfielder, which the Twins currently have two of that have found their names in a few rumors already this off-season. One of them is Young, and the other is Michael Cuddyer.

If the Twins and Phillies were exploring a Young trade, they certainly would have to give up more than Donald, but is Madson too much? That's debatable. The Twins would be trading a 23-year-old with a lot of potential for a 24-year-old prospect who hasn't played above Double-A and a 28-year-old reliever. If the Twins cannot get Madson, they could probably get Chad Durbin. but at that point I don't know if I'd accept.

Young was also linked to the Giants which if you remember was another team already linked to Young earlier this off-season. But the Twins really have no use for Jonathan Sanchez who was the only name that was given to La Velle E. Neal III.

Something to definitely keep an eye on over the next few days, that's for sure.


Another rumor that surfaced early in the morning was that the Twins and Astros had talked about Miguel Tejada in a possible trade. That rumor was first reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, who is one of the most respected baseball writers in the world. Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press said that there was a phone call, but reported that nothing else was to become of it. And finally, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said that Tejada is not an option for the Twins (Miller then backed that up as well).

It's amazing how in just one day a rumor can start, gain strength and be completely shot down all before dinner time.

Tejada who is 34-years-old and on the downward spiral of his career. He has failed to hit 20+ home runs in his last two seasons and in 2008 drove in the fewest runs since 1998. He is due $13 million and seems destined to be moved to third if he were to be acquired. The Twins would be better off going after Astros third baseman Ty Wiggington than to eve waste time/money on Tejada.


After that rumor, another was announced that almost made me throw up in my mouth a bit. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that after the Tigers signed shortstop Adam Everett, a new team that is in the mix for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson is the Twins. John Bonnes of Twins Geek speculated on a potential Wilson trade a couple weeks ago.

Wilson who will be 31-years-old in a couple weeks who is strong defensively but weak offensively will make $7.25 million next year. Trading for him really makes no sense when Punto is still available. Punto will probably make somewhere around half of what Wilson will make next year and is a pretty good comparison. It just doesn't make sense.

And just when the rest of the Twins Nation caught wind of this rumor, it was shot down by Jenifer Langosch of I think I can speak for everyone when I say "thank goodness!" I just hope it doesn't resurface later on.