December 28, 2009

What's going on?

Happy Holidays! I decided that with not a whole lot going on last week to hold off on writing until today, even though there's still nothing going on with the Twins. I also wanted to mention that I have switched to the old commenting system (the blogger default) in the wake of HaloScan switching to ECHO (thanks to Aaron Gleeman for the heads-up). I may sometime choose to use ECHO, but at this time it just makes more sense to use the default commenting system.

On the 14th, the Twins sent two scouts to Houston to monitor Aroldis Chapman while he put together a bullpen session for potential buyers. Chapman, a 21-year-old southpaw who defected from Cuba last summer, is considered the year's best international free agent and one of the best remaining pitchers on the open market. He began drawing attention last Spring, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun, while pitching for the Cuban national team in the World Baseball Classic.

(Paul Spinelli/WBCI/MLB Photos/Getty Images)

Generally, this wouldn't be worth mentioning. In years past, the Twins have remained dormant while other teams have assertively hit the international market with force. This year, the Twins have been one of the year's biggest buyers in the international market and signing Chapman may not be out of the question.

Twins GM Bill Smith, like always, wouldn't give people much to dwell on when commenting on Chapman, "This is one of any number of these workouts we attend each year. It's as much information gathering as anything else. We've seen this guy a number of times. We've seen him in the WBC and in a number of tournaments."

It's likely that any deal for Chapman will be more than the $15.1 million deal that Stephen Strasburg, the number one overall pick in last June's draft, received from the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox have reportedly offered Chapman a contract worth around $15.5 million. If the Twins are serious about signing Chapman, which I hope that they are, they'll have to dig deep into their pockets to pick up any loose change they might have lying around. Unfortunately, I doubt they have the funds to pull off such a deal, even though I agree with Parker Hageman in thinking that it may be a very reasonable contract, if the Twins believe that all of the hype surrounding him is justified.

Mark DeRosa, who the Twins have had interest in before, may leaning toward signing with the San Francisco Giants. The deal is reportedly worth $12 million over two years, which is significantly lower than the three-year $27 million deal he was supposedly looking for heading into free agency. Despite the lowered salary, I'm still more inclined to see the Twins sign either Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez, who are both still available and (at least on the surface) don't seem to have a ton of interest at this time.

The Twins look as though they'll stick with their status quo of waiting for the market to thin out before striking a deal. But I'm fine with that. The Twins have watched players such as Pedro Feliz, Garrett Atkins and Troy Glaus go to other teams, but that's not a bad thing. Clubs are filling their vacancies at second base or third base and players like Lopez, Hudson, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Tejada sit around with no contract in hand. It does seem that the longer the Twins wait, the cheaper their options will be. Just have to hope that they strike before it's too late.

Finally, here's a new blog to check out. It's called The Willard's Twins Blog. Hope you enjoy!

6 comments:

Jack Steal said...

Josh,

This is a very typical pattern for the Twins and it has never worked out. When all the dust settles Joe Crede will be out third baseman and Nick Punto at second.

The front office does not appear interested in upgrading at second base!! However, even if this is a smokescreen Hudson and Lopez are way out of their price range. Bringing back Orlando Cabrera to play second base would make sense because he would be a big offensive improvement over .210 Punto.

As far as third base is concerned there are two decent players left in Beltre and DeRosa. Both have huge price tags and there is a better chance of the team signing Arodis Chapman than either one of these two ending up in a Twins uniform in 2010. This leaves Miguel (washed up) Tejada and his terrible defense or broken done Joe Crede. Both of these guys equals more of the same for the Twins at the hot corner. This is what happens when you don't spend money and wait too long. Let's also not forget that Joe Mauer has yet to be signed!!

Twins Twins Twins said...

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Josh Johnson said...

@Jack,

I guess I'm a little confused. You say that Orlando Cabrera makes sense to play second base, but he's not the offensive contributor that Miguel "washed up" Tejada is and is as bad defensively. Regardless of what happens, Punto's going to be in the lineup. That's pretty much given.

The way I see it is that the Twins are likely looking for a one or two year deal at second or third base and if so, I pray that they choose Tejada over Cabrera.

I get that the concern for the longer you wait the more likely it is that all of the "good options" are gone. But at least up to this point, the contrary has happened. With exception to Polanco, I wouldn't call any of the options that have been signed "good options," at least over what's still out there.

@Jacob, I'll be sure to mention your site sometime in the near future. Thanks for following.

Jack Steal said...

Josh,

The bottom line is when the Twins hit the field in 2010 it will be the same team as year ago. The same team that went 0-10 against the Yankees and were swept in 3 games by them. I thought the off-season was a time for a team to improve but apparently FATSO (Bill Smith) does not think so.

Welcome back Joe Crede and goodbye Joe Mauer!! Smith is the worst GM that this organization has ever had and this sit and wait approach might cost us Mauer. No big deal add Mauer's name to the list along with Santana and Hunter of great players lost by a inept front office.

Josh Johnson said...

Jack,

Your problem now seems to be that the Twins aren't going to be making much change, and yet you're advocating bringing Orlando Cabrera back. The same Cabrera that has a career .656 OPS against the Yankees.

The Twins still have plenty of options to fill one of the infield voids, there's no need to overreact when guys like Pedro Feliz, Garrett Atkins, Troy Glaus or even Mark DeRosa sign elsewhere.

None of them are long term options and none of them are better fits than Miguel Tejada, Adrian Beltre, Felipe Lopez or Orlando Hudson.

Jack Steal said...

Josh,

I advocate for bringing back Orlando Cabrera to play second base because he is a winner. Despite the decline in defense his offensive numbers are as good if not better than Hudson and Lopez. However is OBP is very bad.

Joe Crede is a great all-around third baseman when he is healthy. After 3 major back surgeries there is a better chance of me winning the lottery than Crede staying heathy for an entire season.

I agree we could sign Hudson, Lopez, or even the washed up Tejada but the front office will not spend the money. They refuse to upgrade at second base because Nick Punto is slotted to start there in 2010. A team that loves Punto this much is a joke to the rest of the league.

If the Twins re-sign both Crede and Cabrera that might be a slight improvement with J.J. Hardy at shortstop. I don't expect them to spend too much money with a Mauer contract on the horizon.