Twins Interested in Hardy, Blake, and Atkins

Jesse AbelsonContributor INovember 8, 2008

    Recent reports say that the Brewers are shopping around J.J Hardy to make place for  twenty-one year old Alcides Escobar. If the Brewers fail to re-sign C.C Sabathia or Ben Sheets, they will most likely be looking to trade for pitching. The Minnesota Twins have a lot of depth at pitching. They have five young starters and three other young pitchers that will be starters some day. One rumor is the Minnesota Twins trading Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey for J.J Hardy. This would be a perfect trade for both teams especially if the Brewers fail to sign Sabathia or Sheets. This trade would give the Brewers a young starting pitcher that can eventually develop into a #1 or #2 starting pitcher. This would also help the Twins. The Twins need a shortstop or a third baseman. This would give the Twins a good fielding shortstop and some right handed power. This would also allow the Twins, if they sign Nick Punto, to move him to third base and have him and Brian Buscher to split time.

    Another rumor is that the Rockies like Outfielder Michael Cuddyer. If the Twins package him and a young starting pitcher to the Colorado Rockies, they could get third baseman Garrett Atkins. This trade also makes a lot of sense. The Twins currently have five outfielders capable of starting, Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer. The Twins would not trade Gomez or Span, but would like to trade one of them for a shortstop or third baseman. As I said before Twins have eight potential starting pitchers for next year and could trade one without hurting themselves too much. If they package Cuddyer and for example Kevin Slowey, they would not be hurting the team too much and getting a great third baseman in return. 

    The Twins could also try to sign 35 year old Casey Blake, who was with the Twins before getting cut in 2001 and again in 2002. Casey Blake also gives the Twins right handed power. Signing Blake does not make as much sense as trading for Atkins or Hardy considering he would then be the second oldest player on the Twins behind Mike Redmond. The Twins are a very young team and will probably need another year or two before they are real world series contenders. Over the past five years, Blake's home runs have gradually gone down, and by the time the Twins are real contenders, he will be 37 or 38.

    The Twins need to do something on the left side of the infield and they have two good options. The one that makes the most sense would be trading for J.J Hardy. This would benefit both teams. The Twins still have Brian Buscher at third base and twenty-two year old third baseman Trevor Plouffe, the Twins 2004 first round draft, has quietly been making his way up through the minors and should br ready for the big leagues possibly as early as this upcoming season.