Posted 23 January 2021 - 06:12 PM
His glove was very good to great at 2B/SS/3B. And while not an ideal fit, he learned to play a fine 1B as well. When pressed to the OF, he was at least OK out there. And except for 2020...and I'd think we almost dismiss it like a lot of players...his bat was solid and at least "complimentary". He was a far better hitter than the "traditional" utility infielder as we've known the position over the years.
I really thought he might be brought back for about $1M as an inexpensive 11th man for 2021. In other words, regardless of a high quality SS or 10th man addition, budget constraints might have kept the team from signing an even better 11th man option and he may have been a fine/OK re-sign to fill his old role.
There remains a number of high quality/versatile FA options to fill a 10th and even 11th man roles. Hernandez and Profar are gone, but what about LaStella, for example, and then the next best 11th man option who can cover SS.
Recent events are telling me three different and distinct things:
1] The Twins are indeed very serious about adding at SS with some move of Polanco or Adrianza to the 10th man role. If this is the case, there still are a number of quality options to bring on board for a versatile 11th man to increase depth and flexibility. Just as an example: Cabrera to play 1B/2B/3B and emergency SS behind Polanco. There are others, of course.
2] The Twins are committed and convinced Polanco will be healthy and fine at SS, and are looking for a 10th man who can play around the field and bring a decent bat and then bring in someone besides Adrianza who can cover SS. Once again, names like LaStella and Cabrera rise to prominence with someone...hopefully not some journeyman AAAA player...to replace Adrianza as the 11th man who can play a good SS.
3] Unexpectedly, considering rumors and opportunity, financial strings have the Twins remaining status quo across the infield with fingers crossed and the 10th and 11th man spots will be filled by inexpensive options like Marwin and player X.
I'm fine with either #1 or #2 options. Each option brings merit and opportunity for a deep and versatile infield that could be productive. Option #3 scares the hell out of me. Do we, as I suggested in a different thread, give Marwin a muligan for 2020 as we do for so many other players, and assume he would be the solid/dependable 2019 version of himself? And do we then also assume the FO is smart enough to bring on board at least another equivalent glove man as Adrianza has been?
Am I over-reacting to a glove first decent utility infielder being gone? Probably. Am I over-reacting to the likes of Hernandez and Profar being signed elsewhere and "rumors" of other infield targets being looked at by other teams? Maybe. But infield options can't be ignored and dismissed easily. And I have a lot of faith in the FO and fully appreciate their patient approach. But there are enough question marks regarding the infield that depth is a concern. And at some point moves have to be made.
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."