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Rumor: Twins to spend over their Int. bonus limit in 2015...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:36 PM
This is completely a rumor, so huge grain of salt, but Kiley McDaniel, who is a legit source, posted it based on "surveying about a dozen...
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Article: Can Aaron Hicks Be Fixed?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:07 PM
One of the more critical openings the Minnesota Twins will have this year is in center field. If all goes well, that job will be Aaron Hi...
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Who do we go for next?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:37 PM
Who is the next realistic target we are going to persue?
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Punto vs Nunez

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:24 PM
Punto was just released by the A's.  Should the Twins continue their welcome back tour and bring Punto back as the 2nd back up middl...
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Astros & later pick Nix settle -- part of Aiken mess

MLB Baseball Today, 05:12 PM
Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS  · 16m16 minutes ago  astros & draftee nix, whose $1.5M deal was canceled thru no fault of his ow...
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Recent Blogs


The Elephant in the Room

Attached Image: mauer.jpg Earlier this week, Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press asked Terry Ryan whether the team's recent run of success has affected the way he's preparing for the offseason.

"Regardless of what you look like right now, you still look at the club and figure out where you're headed and where you need to add," Ryan told Walters. "My focus and our focus will always be, as you go through a season, to look at what you've got and what you've got coming up."

What the Twins have got and what they've got coming up are one in the same: bats.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Their lineup is looking strong, and everyone is locked in for next year and beyond. In the offings, you've got Chris Parmelee obliterating Triple-A, while Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia thrive in Double-A.

Where they need to add, clearly, is pitching. Everyone agrees on that. Opinions differ on the scope of the project.

Should they focus solely on adding young, high-upside arms, even if it means disassembling their current core and delaying their window of contention by a few years?

Or should they try to keep this group largely intact, picking up pitchers wherever they can and hoping for some good things to happen in 2013?

From my perspective, there are a number of ways to work toward putting a contending team on the field next year that don't jeopardize the organization's long-term outlook. And not doing so would be an injustice to the franchise's most valuable (and highly-paid) asset: Joe Mauer.

You may have noticed that Mauer has been rather awesome this year in spite of the club's struggles. After a sluggish start, he's turned it on the summer months and is back to ranking among the elite in batting average and on-base percentage while logging significant time at catcher.

The likelihood that Mauer keeps playing at this level diminishes a bit next year. And a little bit more the year after that. And so on. That's because he'll turn 30 next spring, and historically baseball players have often started to show decline as they age into their fourth decade of life. Particularly guys with substantial injury histories.

The time to build a championship-caliber team around Mauer is now, while he remains in his physical "prime." As the years pass, it becomes more difficult to center plans around him, and as long as he's consuming close to a quarter of the payroll there's really no other choice.

As the Twins ponder whether to take a long-term approach in putting a competitive product back on the field, what they need to ask themselves is whether biding their time and stocking the farm is worth wasting the best years of Mauer's career.


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