December 11, 2008

Winter Meetings: Day 3 Review

Besides a rumor that escalated over Tuesday into Wednesday, there really wasn't that much that happened yesterday. That is, for the Twins. There was a big signing and 12-player trade that highlighted the Winter Meetings on Wednesday. And although something can get done today, I am sure a lot of attention (at least from the Twins standpoint) will be focused on the Rule V Draft.

La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the Twins talked to the Cubs on Tuesday about a potential trade that would make the Twins involved in the biggest trade that has been speculated about this off-season. The Cubs are trying to acquire starter Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres, but don't have the pitching to do so. That's where the Twins became useful. The Cubs also trying to shed some salary to take on Peavy's, would then trade second baseman Mark DeRosa to the Twins.

DeRosa is coming off of his best season as a professional in which he hit .285/.376/.481 with 54 XBH's (21 home runs) and a 118 OPS+. He has played mostly second base for the Cubs due to the fact that they have Aramis Ramirez at third base, and because he is much better suited for second base than he is for third. I am not sure of the Twins' intentions on were they would play him, but I would imagine it would depend on whether or not the Twins add any more players to the infield.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old has spent time in 3 organizations in his 11 year career. He will make $5.5 million next season which is definitely doable for the Twins and would allow them to still explore another player either via trade or via free agency.

Here's a crazy thought, is there a way to get Kevin Kouzmanoff and DeRosa in the same deal?

Of course, this trade was at one point shot down and it again resurfaced which is something we've seen become very common at the Winter Meetings. Carrie Muskat of reported that DeRosa wouldn't be traded. Corey Brock of then reported that the Twins were not involved in any prospective Peavy-Cubs trade, but then went on to say that a fourth team would likely be needed. Brock does mention that if the Padres were interested in any of the Twins pitchers that Boof Bonser, Philip Humber, Anthony Swarzak, Kevin Mulvey and Brian Duensing could all be possibilities for the Padres. La Veal E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune then says that the Twins may not be apart of a Padres-Cubs trade but could still acquire DeRosa. Aaron Gleeman of "head from a couple non-Minnesota reporters" that the Twins might have a reasonable chance to acquire DeRosa for a perhaps a package headlined by Humber.

Twins GM Bill Smith also doesn't see the Twins in a multi-team trade at this point.
"We are having enough troubles doing a two-team deal. Multi-team deals are hard to do. They happen if you can work one out. But they are complex, and they are difficult to do."
The Philadelphia Phillies are also interested in acquiring DeRosa to use him as both insurance for the currently injured Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz in their infield or to start in left field after Pat Burrell left.


La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune also gave these tidbits:
  • Delmon Young is still somewhere on the Philadelphia Phillies radar.
  • There's a chance the Twins and Rockies talk again about Garrett Atkins.
  • There is no interest in Jorge Cantu.
And he also gave us this little nugget that doesn't necessarily make me happy. According to "Twins people" there are no-trade problems regarding Adrian Beltre. If you quickly read that, then you'd say "great, there aren't any problems" (like I did), however Neal then goes on to say that Beltre has a limited no-trade clause.

But where was this during the summer when the Twins and Mariners seemed close to a trade? I'd seriously doubt that nobody would have "spilled the beans" about this aspect until now. Unless he suddenly was able to change his preferences, this should be new to everybody.

Although there is still about two months before Spring Training, a lot of things should be cleared up after today. Not just for the Twins, but for around the league. Although the Twins haven't found a trade partner, I'm not too worried. Reason being is that the Twins have a fine platoon currently set-up with Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher at third base and I have a pretty confident feeling that the Twins and Nick Punto will reach a deal eventually. And even if a deal cannot get done this week to fill a need, that doesn't mean it won't happen at all.
"Yeah, we've made acceptable progress," Twins GM Bill Smith said. "But again, with any trade or free-agent signing, it takes two to agree."
Bold Predictions: Today, we'll see Mark Teixeira, Rafael Furcal and A.J. Burnett sign with clubs. My guess, Teixeira goes to Boston, Furcal to the Royals and Burnett lands with the Yankees. OK, maybe they're not bold.

Stay tuned...