Hudson, Thome Raise The Ceiling For 2010 Twins

Timothy BogerCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Jim Thome #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Two of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 16, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Just 10 days ago, the Twins had made just one addition to their team (not including signing players from last year). The J.J. Hardy trade was a great upgrade from, well, everybody else that played shortstop for the Twins in '09. 

Even that should have sustained the Twins as a legitimate favorite to win the AL Central. But that's no longer good enough. 

The Twins filled two key holes on their team in the last week and a half, signing Jim Thome--that Jim Thome--to a one year deal to boost their bench. If you didn't think that was an important hole to fill for the Twins, you obviously haven't watched them much.

And this week's signing of Orlando Hudson capped the offseason as already one of the best offseasons in Minnesota sports history. They found their perfect fit for their two biggest holes--second base, and the two-hole in the lineup to bridge the gap between Denard Span and Joe Mauer. 

It's an offseason that could be perfected by finishing the contract with Joe Mauer, showing the world that the Twins are for real. 

Some have called the Twins "an AL elite." That's true, but it was true last year too. Now, the Twins are an elite team that can actually match up with the other elites. In '09 they were 6-17 against the other AL playoff teams. Then they proved how they matched up against elite teams by getting swept out of the postseason by the Yankees

This team, with a healthy Kevin Slowey, a maybe-this-time-for-real resurgence of Francisco Liriano, can build their young pitchers for a possible deep playoff run.

With a healthy team going into spring training, the Twins have a chance to make a big season happen. Their lineup is built for manufacturing runs, something they'll need if they have to visit Yankee Stadium in October again.

It will be an exciting first season in Target Field, and the Twins have built a team with a ceiling that really has no limit.