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Article: Report From The Fort: Decisions And Divides

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:42 AM
Pop quiz, hot shot: When the rubber meets the road, what makes everything move forward?Answer: Friction.For a team that was supposedly go...
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SI not thrilled with Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:40 AM
SI had some scout takes on the Twins. It's not pretty.    "There's a reason all these guys had 5 ERAs last year. The Twins used...
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Article: 2017 Twins Player Predictions: Brian Dozier

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:33 AM
After an offseason of rumors, Brian Dozier is still with the Twins. The second baseman gives the team a reliable bat in their lineup. He...
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Article: 2017 Twins Player Predictions: Jason Castro

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:32 AM
The Minnesota Twins offseason is generally considered to have been very quiet. It would be difficult to dispute that too much. However, t...
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Twins Finalize Lefty Bullpen Picture

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:42 AM
As we have expected for some time now, the Twins will roll with Craig Breslow and Taylor Rogers as their two bullpen lefties to so start...
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If Twins Will Trade Justin Morneau, There's A Way Toward Contention

Attached Image: Morneau_uspw_6519778_600_321.jpg According to the Washington Post, the only legitimately good first baseman on the free agent market, Adam LaRoche, is in talks to re-sign with the Nationals. In the 2013 Offseason Handbook, I think the next best option we found was Carlos Lee, who slugged just .365 (and is 36 years old.) What’s more, there aren’t a lot of good options on the free agent market to move to first base. For instance, Kevin Youkilis is available at third base, but if he can play third base (and it looks like he can) he’ll be signed as a third baseman.

The last couple of years, the market has not been so thin. Last year, of course, was epically good, with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder leading the charge. 2010 had Paul Konerko, but also Aubrey Huff, LaRoche, Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman. 2009 was thin, but 2008 had Mark Teixeira leading the class. It’s been years since we had a free agent first baseman sign for less than $6M, but that will almost certainly happen if LaRoche returns to the Nationals.

This presents a unique opportunity to the Twins, if they choose to embrace it.

In our 45-minute interview with Terry Ryan for the Offseason Handbook, he stated that 1B/OF Chris Parmelee will get every opportunity to play every day. While manager Ron Gardenhire says he’s satisfied with Parmelee’s defense in right field, the rest of the organization has shown no such endorsement. Indeed, in AAA-Rochester this year, he didn’t play a single game there.

Moving incumbent Justin Morneau would not only make space for Parmelee, but free up $14 million to purchase starting pitching in a free agent market thick with it. Even if the Twins received nothing in return, that’s enough money to sign any starter except Zach Greinke. Ask yourself, would you trade Morneau for Jake Peavy, Dan Haren, or Anibal Sanchez? If you would, it makes sense to trade away Morneau for nothing more than a bag of bricks.

Fortunately, for the Twins, that might not be necessary. There are not shortage of teams that struggled mightily at first base last year. SEVEN teams had an OPS lower less than 700 last year, and even the Rangers first basemen hit just .251/.301/.399. For a team struggling to fill major needs on a lower budget, the thin first base market is a godsend. If the Twins can find the will, there is almost certainly a way to bounce back quickly.


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