The Minnesota Twins are not doing their fan base any favors this offseason. In a winter in which the organization had to offer a concessions discount to their season ticket holders, they've proceeded to get rid of two fan-favorite center fielders for a pair of prospects and an unknown starting pitcher.
The Twins have sure screwed this one up...or have they?
The latest domino in the Twins' offseason came on Thursday morning when Ben Revere was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.
The Revere deal comes exactly one week after the Twins dealt Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for another highly regarded pitching prospect, Alex Meyer.
The initial fan reaction to these moves has been negative, as the casual Twins fan has never heard of anybody the Twins have gotten in return. However, these three pitchers should ensure that Twins fans will not see as bad of a starting rotation as they team trotted out in 2012.
In fact, the additions of Meyer, May and Worley strengthen the Twins rotation beyond the 2013 season, which is where general manager Terry Ryan's focus should be.
The Twins are nowhere near contending for the American League Central right now. While the consensus among Twins fans is that they should go out and sign a free agent, the reality is that if they were to sign a pitcher it would not improve the rotation as a whole.
That's why the Twins are using unorthodox ways to improve the rotation, which include trading a 24-year old former first-round pick. The Twins need to look at the future, which is becoming increasingly bright for Twins fans.
Twins beat writer LaVelle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune posted a top ten prospects list on his blog prior to the Revere trade.
With the addition of May, who was ranked 69th in Baseball America's top 100 prospects entering 2012, the Twins now have a pair of pitchers that could add to a solid rotation that would include two more top prospects in Meyer and Kyle Gibson along with Worley and current Twin Scott Diamond.
The Twins will also have more young talent on the way in outfielders Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks, second baseman Eddie Rosario and third baseman Miguel Sano.
With two unpopular moves, the Twins have established a solid nucleus that could take the American League Central by storm in 2014 or sooner if the Twins decide to deal veterans such as Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau.
And don't forget, the Twins will likely still have Joe Mauer under contract when all these reinforcements do arrive.
The outlook is not as gloomy as Thursday's trade may seem at first glance. The success that could develop in the long run could be enough to ease the pain of missing out on Joe Blanton for the reasonable price of $15 million dollars over two seasons.
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