Well, that didn’t take long. All sources indicate that the Twins are not going to pursue Ty Wigginton. Apparently his price tag was higher than Blake’s. He is 4 years younger, so he should make more than Blake. That’s basically what he is, a younger version of Casey Blake. This leaves the Twins with few to no options to upgrade the infield. I think we should accept that, and move on. The only other option is Mark Derosa of the Cubs. Nick and Nick weighs that option in his blog today, so I won’t delve in too deeply. He has a few main points, I’ll summarize:
- DeRosa only became a full time player 3 years ago, so despite being 34 he still “has a lot left in the tank”
- While primarily playing 2B, he also has logged a considerable amount of innings at third, playing slightly below average defense at both. This means we could try him at third, or play him at second and move Casilla to short and go with the Buscher/Harris platoon at third, moving Punto to super-utility.
- Had a career year last season, so will probably regress.
- Twins will undervalue him since he doesn’t play great defense, or isn’t really fast, and will offer the Cubs a garbage package, and the Cubs will laugh at us and tell us to go home.
- “The Fab 5″ are off limits, but someone of the Bonser/Humber variety is not.
Joe Nelson was recently non-tendered by the Marlins. He also appears to be the prettiest girl at the dance. In 2008, Nelson was 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 54 innings. He had 60 strikeouts to 22 walks, and gave up just 5 homers. He also sported a healthy 1.18 WHIP. While he is 34 years old, he doesn’t have too many innings at the major league level, and has about 700 total professional innings under is belt. That really isn’t that many, and as far as I know he has no history of arm trouble. Could 2008 be a fluke? Yes, it very well could be. The fact that he has 19 teams chasing him does not bode well for the Twins. Unless he prefers pitching for Rick Anderson and an organization that value pitching above all else, over pitching for the highest bidder. Which I doubt. Especially since he is 34 and hasn’t had a big payday yet.
Brandon Lyonis another option. In 2008 he pitched 59 innings, with 44 strikeouts to 13 walks and 7 homers. Very similar to Nelson. He was the D-backs closer for the first half, racking up 26 saves before losing the job. My concern with Lyon is he might take a job where he can be a closer. Nelson might be in the same boat. Both have closer-ish numbers, and might take more money and go to a bad team so they can be the ace of the bullpen.
The Twins should be courting both of these guys heavily. I would prefer not to go into the season assuming Bonser or Humber will be effective setup men. I think Bonser canbe, but when it comes to Boof, assume nothing. If they decide to go after a free agent relief pitcher, they might have to trade one of Bonser/Humber since both are out of options. Lets lay out who I think will be on the opening day 25 man roster so we can figure out how many roster spots we have:
- C- Mauer, Redmond (2)
- IF- Morneau, Casilla, Punto, Buscher, Harris, Tolbert (?) (6)
- OF- Span, Gomez, Cuddyer, Young, Kubel (5)
- SP- Baker, Liriano, Slowey, Blackburn, Perkins (5)
- RP- Nathan, Guerrier, Crain, Bonser, Humber, Mijares, Breslow (7)