The offseason is one of the best times of the year. It’s the only time that you can think about making big moves to put your team over the top; it’s the only time you can see the player you’ve always enjoyed watching signed or acquired by your team; and it’s the only time you can really share what you’d do to make your team a championship contender.
The Twins had a great season this past year. They were supposed to be terrible, according to most, but manager Ron Gardenhire and company again proved the critics wrong.
Now, after 163 games, the front office takes the ball and attempts to upgrade the left side of the infield; hoping that in the Metrodome’s final season, more magic will appear in Minneapolis.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately, thinking about the perfect moves for this team to be the top contender in the division.
If I were the GM of the Twins, here is what I’d do.
- Sign Casey Blake. There are a lot of different third base options out there for the Twins, most coming via trade. The Twins could dump a pitcher, an outfielder, and some prospects for someone like Adrian Beltre, Garrett Atkins, or Kevin Kouzmanoff. What they could also do is sign an older guy in Blake without losing any of their valuable trading chips.
- Trade for J.J. Hardy. The Twins have some sort of future at third with Luke Hughes, but the same cannot be said for shortstop. Sure, they have Trevor Plouffe, but it’s hard to tell how good he’ll be. Hardy is just 27 years old, can hit near 30 home runs, and hits for a decent average. If the Twins can use an outfielder, or even package someone like Perkins or Blackburn along with a prospect, they could be set well into the ballpark era with Hardy.
- Offer Dennys Reyes arbitration. Offering Reyes arbitration would insure the Twins of receiving a compensation pick should he sign elsewhere. It’s unlikely that he would accept the deal, but if he for some reason did, you’d have a pretty decent reliever for pretty cheap.
- Retain Nick Punto. I know, I know, many fans hate this thought. The truth is, Nick Punto is a very valuable bench player if the Twins use him right. His defense is stellar at second, short and third, making him a valuable late-inning option. Beyond this, he is a pretty good spot starter as well.
- Add to the 40-man roster: Luke Hughes, Anthony Swarzak, and Brian Duensing. I know there are many other guys that could be added such as Tolleson or Ramos, but these three I think could be used at some point next season, and I’d get them added.
- Sign or trade for a reliever. It’s hard to tell who’s available at this point, but the Twins must add at least one reliever. Assuming the team will go with 12 pitchers, and assuming Nathan, Crain, Guerrier, Mijares, and Breslow are locks, the Twins still need two more additions. Either Philip Humber or Boof Bonser could be the sixth guy, but they need to trade for someone or add a guy like Juan Cruz from free agency.
Now you know what I’d do, what would you do?
Please note that this was written before the team made additions to the 40-man roster.