Monday, October 24, 2005
Good morning everyone! I had a long weekend, and I'm just not in the necessary frame of mind to think up anything too critical for today.
The World Series is under way, with two games between the White Sox and Astros in Chicago. I think I now know why the White Sox are good. Yes, they have great pitching which helps. But I am so impressed by their defense. I think they finally get it. Jose Valentin was a terrible shortstop, and now Juan Uribe does a great job there. Also, how impressive has Joe Crede been? He not only has come up with some big hits for the Sox, but he has shown a great glove at 3B! And seeing Tadahito Iguchi on more regular basis has made me really appreciate the type of player that he is. We knew that Paul Konerko was a very good hitter, but his defense is not terrible either. The White Sox just have a very good team. Oh yeah, so do the Astros, but someone is really going to have to pick things up for them to make up for Roger Clemens' hamstring injury.
The Vikings got a great win against the Packers. Normally, I think I would be more enthusiastic about that win, including the game winning 56 yard field goal by Paul Edinger, but I didn't even watch much of the game. I saw some of the first half and was so annoyed by it. I listened to the second half of the game, and it did sound exciting. Imagine what would be going through our minds if these were actually two good games? But when both headed into the game with 1-4 records, it is really difficult to get excited about even a Packers/Vikings game. Also, be sure to check out my prediction for the results of yesterday's Vikings/Packers game!
A couple of Twins thoughts for you... I have been thinking a lot about possible Twins trades. We won't hear anything until after the World Series, I'm sure. But when the Series finishes, players will start filing for free agency, and trades will start happening. I can't help but think of a few that I think that the Twins should make:
1.) According to Sports Weekly, the Yankees are almost desperate to acquire Torii Hunter. Their scouts are saying that Johnny Damon is no longer a good outfielder (ummm, and these guys get paid!!!) so they're going to let the Red Sox pay him $50 million. Apparently, they Twins can have Robinson Cano and any bullpen pitcher on the Yankees not named "Rivera." I would love Cano, he doesn't walk a lot, but he's 22, can hit for some average and could develop enough power to hit some homers too. I don't think there is anyone in the Yankees bullpen that the Twins would want. With one exception. Chien Ming Wang. If the Yankees offered Cano and Wang for Hunter (or if they wanted to throw in Eric Duncan or Melky Cabrera too), I would do it. First, you solve your 2B problem for the next four or five years. Second, in Wang, the Twins will have their insurance if they feel that Francisco Liriano needs a little more seasoning. That would allow for...
2a.) The Twins should trade arbitration-eligible Kyle Lohse to the Red Sox along with a prospect for Kevin Youklis. The Red Sox desperately need starting pitching, and although he isn't spectacular, Lohse provides innings, and with that lineup could get the glorified "Wins" that he hasn't had with the Twins. Youklis would be the Twins 3B for the next five or six years and provide them with a "professional" hitter to go along with Joe Mauer. The Red Sox would want to have the rights to Lohse before the Twins released him and everyone could sign him.
2b.) The Twins should trade arbitration-eligible Kyle Lohse to the Brewers for Billy Hall. The Brewers have a lot of great hitting prospects that are, or nearly are, ready for The Show. Lohse again could provide them with some innings and a guy with four full big league seasons. The reason that the Brewers would want to work out a trade is again so that he doesn't hit the free agent market, and so that they do not need to compete with the likes of the Red Sox for his services. Hall had a breakout year for the Brewers, and could be the Twins starting 3B. He played 3B, SS and 2B for the Brewers last year and hit for some power. He strikes out a bunch, but I do enjoy watching him swing the bat!
3.) JC Romero wants out, and the Twins want him out. The Angels seem to think that they need a lefty out of the bullpen. There seems to be a natural fit. So, what could the Twins get for Romero who, although Twins fans know how frustrating he can be, did put up the kind of numbers that might make him attractive to a pennant-contending team? Well, my assumption is that the Angels would not be willing to trade Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales, Casey Kotchman or Dallas McPherson for a lefty reliever. However, the Angels had a guy at AA named Erick Aybar who plays SS. He has been one of the Angels best prospects the last few years and had another very strong showing this year. However, with the aforementioned Wood and Hendrick lighting up the organization, Aybar would be expendable. He would likely start the year at Rochester, and his prospect status means that if Jason Bartlett is deemed not a starter, there is more organizational depth in the middle infield.
So, here are my three trades right away:
1.) Torii Hunter to the Yankees for Robinson Cano, Chien Ming Wang and maybe Melky Cabrera, if they offer.
2.) Kyle Lohse and a prospect to the Red Sox for Kevin Youklis, or to the Brewers for Billy Hall.
3.) JC Romero to the Angels for Erick Aybar.
Of course, more moves would be needed, maybe to add some depth in the outfield for 2006 as insurance in case Jason Kubel needs more time. But Lew Ford would be in centerfield replacing Hunter. Cuddyer would return to super-utility and still play most every day (I don't like that designation, but if it is best for the team, then it makes sense).
OK, those are my thoughts. Now my brain is empty. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow, and hopefully it will be another Q&A, although I can't guarantee that quite yet. Also, if anyone wants to write up a Why Baseball article, let me know.
Have a great week!
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