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Morales or the Hammer?

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:55 PM

I'm making some giant assumptions here, but what the heck? I'm assuming that the Twins win enough games that they keep both Morales and Willingham for the entire '14 season. I'm also assuming that the Twins will want to retain a veteran DH for the 2015 season. Final assumption is that both guys hit near their career norms for the balance of the season. Which player should the Twins keep? Hammer will be 36 next year, Morales would turn 32 at midseason. Willingham has a history of hitting more homers and increasing his OBP with walks and HBPs, meanwhile Morales would hit for a higher average and is a switch hitter without significant platoon splits. Willingham would be coming off a 3 year-$21M contract while Morales will make $7.6M as the prorated amount of a one year at $12M contract.

Personally, I love the idea of a regular switch-hitting DH in the middle of the lineup. That Morales could fill in on occasion at first is a nice bonus. I really don't want to see Willingham playing any more left field, but the Twins will need to find someone to replace him.

#2 kab21

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:33 PM

Willingham but...

I'm optimistic that Vargas forces his way onto the roster next spring. He can't do that if Morales and Mauer are locked in at DH/1B. If he doesn't then Willingham can DH.

Although I'm 100% in favor of the Morales signing I'm not sure how well he will do in Target Field. He hits most of his HR's lefthanded to RF and RC and that is a tough place to hit HR's at Target Field. He does offer a nice LH'd (switchhitter) bat to balance out a mostly righty lineup if Buxton and Sano are up.

I might pass on both though if some of Arcia, Vargas, Sano and Buxton all are making a case to be on the opening day roster as starters. And Plouffe shows that he is good enough to start somewhere. Hicks might show that he deserves to be an MLB player after switching to RH batting. There are only so many AB's and someday the farm should start sending guys up.

I would probably look for someone more athletic and versatile (the De Aza or Jon Jay mold).

#3 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

Willingham but...

I'm optimistic that Vargas forces his way onto the roster next spring. He can't do that if Morales and Mauer are locked in at DH/1B. If he doesn't then Willingham can DH.

Although I'm 100% in favor of the Morales signing I'm not sure how well he will do in Target Field.

He hits most of his HR's lefthanded to RF and RC and that is a tough place to hit HR's at Target Field.

He does offer a nice LH'd (switchhitter) bat to balance out a mostly righty lineup if Buxton and Sano are up.

I might pass on both though if some of Arcia, Vargas, Sano and Buxton all are making a case to be on the opening day roster as starters. And Plouffe shows that he is good enough to start somewhere. Hicks might show that he deserves to be an MLB player after switching to RH batting. There are only so many AB's and someday the farm should start sending guys up.

I would probably look for someone more athletic and versatile (the De Aza or Jon Jay mold).


It didn't seem to be much of a problem for either RH or LH batters to hit it out of TF, once again today, or the previous 4 days, for that matter.

But you are absolutely right, move them both this year if at all possible, especially when/if it is becoming clearer that days like today continue to be more the norm. Given that, I think it's now incumbent on the Twins to:

Worry and focus a whole lot more about the dead weight on the pitching staff for the moment. Not one stopper in the pen today, Deduno is going to be a wild card in every game he starts, isn't there at least one stopper out there to pick him up on days like this?

Edited by jokin, 08 June 2014 - 05:53 PM.


#4 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

My guess is that Morales will be looking for a multi-year deal. Not sure he'll get it but I think that's what he and Boras were aiming for by waiting out the draft date.

Really think we need to see how Willingham's health holds out this season. I, too, am intrigued by Vargas and hope we get to see him at the major league level later this summer. If it looks like Vargas will be up at all next year, we probably can't afford another purely DH type.

#5 drock2190

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:49 PM

Depending on how Morales does, he would be the smarter option as he will be the younger option at age 32 next year.

This thread is a bit premature, lets revisit this in two months.

#6 jorgenswest

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:50 PM

To the above list I would add Rosario.

I would not want to buy the further decline of Willingham or Morales and continue to extend the cycle of mediocrity.

#7 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:51 PM

My guess is that Morales will be looking for a multi-year deal. Not sure he'll get it but I think that's what he and Boras were aiming for by waiting out the draft date.

Really think we need to see how Willingham's health holds out this season. I, too, am intrigued by Vargas and hope we get to see him at the major league level later this summer. If it looks like Vargas will be up at all next year, we probably can't afford another purely DH type.


There is now no room on the roster for Vargas to play this year barring calamitous injury, impactful trade or meaningless September call-up.

#8 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:52 PM

To the above list I would add Rosario.

I would not want to buy the further decline of Willingham or Morales and continue to extend the cycle of mediocrity.


Yup. Assuming Josh and Kendrys move on, the way is now clear for Rosario, Vargas, and to a lesser extent, Ortiz (in a 4th OF tryout), to claim 2015 spots.

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:54 PM

There is now no room on the roster for Vargas to play this year barring calamitous injury, impactful trade or meaningless September call-up.


***as of today

This is a pretty fluid situation. A lot of things could change by/at the trade deadline.

#10 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:03 PM

***as of today

This is a pretty fluid situation. A lot of things could change by/at the trade deadline.


I'm hope things do change. BTW, you nailed it, the bolded above is almost a verbatim quote from TR this morning.

#11 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:13 PM

I'm hope things do change. BTW, you nailed it, the bolded above is almost a verbatim quote from TR this morning.


The one thing I fear is that they will be close enough to contending at the trade deadline that they hesitate to trade anyone away yet fail to pick up anyone meaningful, either.

Just feel like we've had missed opportunities too many times when they aren't willing to admit defeat (or that defeat is likely).

#12 kab21

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:21 PM

The one thing I fear is that they will be close enough to contending at the trade deadline that they hesitate to trade anyone away yet fail to pick up anyone meaningful, either.

Just feel like we've had missed opportunities too many times when they aren't willing to admit defeat (or that defeat is likely).


I have no problem if they are close (this would be awesome) at the trade deadline and just hold. They need a SS, a CF'er and a SP'er. They likely won't get a decent SS or CF'er and they have May and Meyer to call up at SP'er.

I think it's also unlikely that both Willy and Morales (and Mauer and Arcia) all stay healthy so a guy like Vargas could find himself playing.

These are things that just don't concern me considering the last couple of years. If this team is playing well and around .500 with Buxton, Sano (not this year obviously), Rosario, Vargas and Meyer poised to make the jump (or have made the jump) to majors then I will be very happy.

#13 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:23 PM

The problem is how they define "close enough".

Sometimes it seems to defy logic to many of us.

#14 stringer bell

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:34 PM

The problem is how they define "close enough".

Sometimes it seems to defy logic to many of us.

Much like "Dumb and Dumber", the Twins could reach the deadline with a less than 10% chance and the team will say "so there's a chance?" 2009 shows, however, that long odds can be beaten.

#15 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:00 PM

How about neither? At this point we need to see how Morales and Target Field get along, but I can say with 100% certainty that Willingham needs to move on.

Get a younger version of him next year. Or a Cuddyer reunion tour. But investing another year in Willingham is a mistake.

#16 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:04 PM

Seems far to soon to worry about the debate between Morales or Hammer.

I like both being in Twins uniforms for the time being. I think it's unlikely either is back in Minnesota for 2015 with big bats and young players looking for time at the major league level.

If the Twins are in it, moving either of them doesn't make sense at the deadline, if they're not, then moving either, or both (if they are healthy and hitting) seems like a good idea.

Too soon for this debate.
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#17 stringer bell

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:32 PM

Another thing about keeping Morales is that he could serve as a mentor to the wave of Hispanic players coming and recently arrived.

This fits with my idea that a team should have a bit of a blend of age and experience.

Edited by stringer bell, 08 June 2014 - 07:39 PM.


#18 Sconnie

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

Seems far to soon to worry about the debate between Morales or Hammer.

I like both being in Twins uniforms for the time being. I think it's unlikely either is back in Minnesota for 2015 with big bats and young players looking for time at the major league level.

If the Twins are in it, moving either of them doesn't make sense at the deadline, if they're not, then moving either, or both (if they are healthy and hitting) seems like a good idea.

Too soon for this debate.

Unless the fluid situation becomes a rotation change, the success of the team rests largely on the success of Morales and Willingham. If they're contenders at trade deadline, they hold on to those two. If they aren't contenders it will be because those two aren't playing very well. Trade seems unlikely either way, especially Morales.

#19 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 08:25 PM

I'm just hoping Morales hits well enough to get something back at the deadline.

#20 Kwak

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 08:50 PM

I think that Willingham will be offered a raise for 2015 on a 1-yr deal. The Twins are light on OFers, power-hitters, and TPTB still want "veterans". Plus, he "fits in".