Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:49 PM
I love Arcia's potential and still believe in him. I hope and pray Vargas can make the jump straight from AA and stick. But even with those two, and a hopeful return to complete health and normal productivity from Mauer in 2015, there is still a big hole in the lineup, primarily at the #4 spot where we could really use someone to bring a veteran, experienced and effective bat.
The Twins basically have 3 options to fill this hole:
1) they can make a trade for, probably a LF, replacing Willingham, ideally with someone late 20's or early 30's, who can give us a few years, and be part of the turnaround. The cost in prospects MIGHT make this prohibitive. It depends in the deal and player.
2) put out some real cash for a similar FA. This keeps the prospects in house, and the Twins absolutely have the payroll flexibility to make this move. In other words, a younger more expensive version of Willingham. Not a bad option. But will a player that fits this option be available. Well...maybe. FA isn't here yet, and these things are fluid.
3) go the short-term older veteran over 30 player. This again keeps the prospects at home, and financially is less of an expenditure both in dollars and time. For example sake only, as there may very well be other options, even better ones, but Cuddyer or Hunter have been mentioned. Let's say one of these two, or someone similar, could be brought in on a 1 year, or 1 plus team option, but no more than a 2 year deal for a fair but not high price tag. You bring in a veteran clubhouse guy, in theory, who can play LF, provide 20+ HR power, an experienced bat/approach and RBI bat short term for that 4 spot with Arcia, Vargas, Plouffe and others filling in behind.
Personally, I like the third option. It keeps our prospects in house for at least another year. And I'd feel more comfortable making a trade move after another year of watching and promoting the youngsters to have a better idea of their value/development/potential/readiness, then making a move for a "finishing" piece to the lineup.
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."