I can see a trade in the summer when a team in contention loses a SS to injury.
I can see a trade of two players out of options be swapped for each other as rosters are being set in March. Perhaps Minnesota can get 4th OF type that would have been otherwised DFA'd.
The Twins have the most potential for upside by investing another season in him and seeing if he can improve his OBP.
League Average OPS by Position:
C - .708 (Pinto had .963 in MLB last year and .882 in AA/AAA)
1B - .777 (Mauer had .880 last year)
2B - .709 (Dozier .726, hopefully can stay above .700)
SS - .682 (Steven Drew vs. RHP .876 Florimon vs. LHP .665 )
3B - .742 (Plouffe .701, .756 in 2012)
LF - .724 (Willingham .709, career .830)
CF - .738 (Hicks .598, Pressley .699)
RF - .741 (Arcia .734)
DH - .728 (Michael Young .730) or (Mark Reynolds vs LHP .725/Arcia .769 vs. RHP.....or....Parmelee vs RHP .696)
Proposed batting order:
1st - .716 (Dozier .726 last year)
2nd - .728 (Mauer .880)
3rd - .774 (Willingham .709 last year, .830 career)
4th - .783 (Arcia .734)
5th - .747 (Betemit .819 career vs RHP, Plouffe .842 career vs LHP)
6th - .737 (Pinto .963 in SSS last year)
7th - .706 (Young @ .730 or other options at DH- ~.720-.740)
8th - .681 (Drew @ .876/Florimon @ .665 in platoon split)
9th - .633 (Presley @ .699)
The bottom of your order suddenly becomes much more formidable, adding to your proposed upgrade and potential bounceback years in the middle part of the order. And Boras has gone with one-year deals in the past. A one-year deal for Drew wouldn't hurt the Twins at all. The pick they lose this year can be regained as a supplemental first-rounder with a QO, or the Twins can trade Drew before the deadline for a decent prospect. And-----Drew platooning gives him a much better chance at staying healthy throughout the entire season.
And doing both of these deals- Drew, Young/Reynolds would be short-term to fit in the budget this year, and not block anyone down the road.
SS - .682 (Steven Drew vs. RHP .876 Florimon vs. LHP .665---- OR trade for JJ Hardy .739 OPS*)
* The Orioles are looking to move Hardy and the Twins have some of the pieces the O's are shopping for--SP/LF/Closer (they might even want Florimon back in some kind of package deal). The trade should also net Ryan a top prospect.
Still advocate Willingham as the primary DH. Like Drew at SS, but especially with reported contract demands, prefer Garza, with a trade or packaged trade of Correia and another, and run with Floriman/Escobar at SS. I am less concerned with an offensive upgrade at the number 9 spot in the order than I am at adding Garza to SP and overall defense and offense, (Hicks, Presley and Arcia hopefully).
Now, if the Orioles want to trade Hardy and we can pull off a trade 2 or 3 team trade then OK. Otherwise, make the move for Garza with a front-loaded offer, and stick with Floriman/Escobar at SS.
Mauch had a reputation as a great in game manager during his time. His reputation was similar to Weaver but he never managed any World Series winners and the meltdown by the Phillie team he managed kind of hurt him. Mostly he didn't have the talent that Weaver did.
On the other hand, there's a large market for starting pitching and Garza doesn't have a draft pick attached to him. It's likely Garza will receive close to double what Drew will at this point. Perhaps more than double.
Last I heard/read, please someone correct me if wrong, Boston was holding out to UP or match, but I heard reports of 10m per and 3 years. Which means at least 8M per if the market slides. Am I wrong? I swear I saw such demands.
I do know he rejected a $14+M qualifying offer to seek a longer and bigger? contract. Again, anyone who can support what I have seen/read previously?
Regarding the Hammer, the Twins likely want him playing in the field to maximize his mid-season trading value- so DH full-time to start out the season is probably a dead letter. We shouldn't let Ryan so easily off the hook here. The Twins could sign all three- Garza, Drew and one of Betemit/Reynolds/Young (maybe even 2 of these 3)-........By trading Correia and 2 of the high-priced relievers you save around $11M, they would still have money left over from their $25M bonus media money. The over-all payroll would come in right around where it was in 2012- this is doable, the Twins just need to be willing to step up to the plate.
Can we expect some young players to come forward? Sure, but that is relying on a ton of internal improvement from players with health concerns or unproven track records. The only way this team can be reasonably sure to improve will be to add someone like Drew. Otherwise this is a lot of hope and prayer - generally not reliable avenues of improvement.
I hope Betemit isn't being mentioned for any position that requires defense. Same goes for Reynolds.
I like the idea of Betemitt or Young, not so much Reynolds, not for full time defensive positions, of course, but as bats and role players off the bench. Have also come on board for the versatile Baker filling a number of roles.
Not in favor, however, of trading anyone from the pen until someone steps up in a way to prove they are ready to fill that new hole.
I really like the idea of a Drew signing. Might step down a it defensively from Floriman/Escobar, but would definitely improve the overall lineup depth. But again, sooner or later there is a financial wall to consider and spending will cease. Now, I would dance a really ugly jig if the Twins signed Drew AND Garza, plus one or two previously mentioned bench options. But I just don't see it happening. Especially when word has it the Twins might be offering more per year to Garza to hep keep the years down.
Drew would be very nice. But offer him to me for 8-10M per OR Garza, and I'm picking the high quality rotation piece and sticking with Floriman/Escobar and hopefully a little offensive improvement either from natural progression, or simply platoon splits.
If traded, it will because of his bat, and the receiving team will hide him at DH or LF. No-one would trade for Willingham for his defense, but rather a healthy and productive bat. His defensive prowess, such as it is, is already well known.
Personally, if back to his career norms, and any offers available are lacking in any sort of real quality, not so sure I wouldn't just keep him for the entire season and then re-visit the DH position then.
The Twins will likely carry 12 pitchers. The bench needs a catcher, middle infielder, 4th OF that can play CF and one more guy until a 13th pitcher is used. Is Betemit the best guy for that role?
League average hitting and league average pitching will get you to .500 maybe. I think that with the changes the Twins made, they might actually have league average pitching in 2014. So they need to get the hitting above average, if they were to complete.
Also, this is very optimistic and assumes a. not regression for players with career seasons (Dozier, Pinto etc.) and b. rebound for players with sub par 2013 (Willingham, Plouffe, Kubel, Parmelee, Suzuki). Likely, this will not happen.
Not sure what the solution is here (I really would like them to get a legitimate hitter for the OF, pushing a Willingham/Kubel DH platoon for one thing, or have Plouffe there and Sano at 3B) but it looks like the Twins would need break-out performances from their CF, SS and C, potentially Sano at 3B and not much regression, in order to have a respectable 2014.