Monday, November 5, 2007
GM Meetings Begin
This week, the 30 GMs in baseball will meet together to discuss the issues of baseball. From what I understand, the commissioner’s office has given the group the right to discuss Instant Replay. Hopefully they will Just Say No. But the exciting thing for baseball fans regarding this week is that the GMs will begin to discuss their team’s needs and wish lists and although they all have each other’s phone numbers on speed dial, it is a good chance to meet in person. Of course, as exciting as that sounds, rarely does anything happen, in terms of trades, at the GM meetings.
Bill Smith will be making his first visit to the GM Meetings as the team’s General Manager. He has a lot to do this offseason and hopefully these meetings will begin the work.
So as this week begins, I thought it would be good to formalize the Twins needs and other things that need some resolution this offseason:
· Torii Hunter – Should the team go beyond their current 3 year, $45 million contract offer? Joe Christensen wrote a really good article about this very issue. It is likely that Hunter will receive an offer from someone for 5 years and $90 million. Again, Mr. Smith… Just Say No!
· CF – And, if the Twins are smart and don’t offer Hunter that kind of money, then they need to figure out centerfield as well. I am a fan of Coco Crisp. Would up to 137 games of Mike Cameron be worthwhile? How long before Denard Span is ready? Is Kenny Lofton a one year option?
· Johan Santana – To Trade, or Not To Trade… That is the question! Can they get a long-term deal worked out? Should they give him a deal that will likely pay him about 25-30% of the team’s budget? How much could the team get for Santana!?
· Carlos Silva – According to this La Velle story, Bill Smith is saying that he wants to keep Carlos Silva. However, he is arguably the #1 pitcher on the free agent market meaning a four year, $40-44 million deal is not out of the question. For a guy who is really a #3 or #4 type of starter, that’s far too much. I hope Bill Smith knows that!
· 3B – Is a platoon of Brian Buscher and Matt Macri good enough, or will the Twins make a deal. After Alex Rodriguez and Mike Lowell, the free agent market for 3B is pretty weak, so a trade is hopefully going to happen. Garrett Atkins? Akinori Iwamura?
· 2B – Are the Twins really comfortable with going into Spring Training with Nick Punto as their opening day 2B? No way. But are they comfortable with Alexi Casilla or Matt Tolbert? Probably not. So, what do they do? Sounds like Luis Castillo will become an Astro, rather than stay with the Mets. Who else is even available?
· LF/DH – I lump these two together because Jason Kubel should be one of them, or really both if possible. The Twins could use another solid left field type. I’ve mentioned Jason Bay, but I am sure there are several options out there. Carl Crawford?
· Long-term contracts – Obviously the Twins need to talk about this with Johan Santana, but I already mentioned that above. The other obvious long-term contract discussions should be with Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer. These both need to happen this offseason if the Twins want to survive the next couple of seasons financially. But does it end there? Should the Twins be a little more proactive? Should they consider long-term deals with arbitration-eligible players like Jason Kubel and/or Matt Guerrier? How about deals for Pat Neshek and even Francisco Liriano?
· Joe Nathan – picking up his option was easy. I don’t think that the Twins should look to deal him just yet, but again, it would be interesting to find out what the market for one of baseball’s top closers would be.
· Precious Arms – The Twins have a lot of young, quality pitching prospects. Are they willing to part with any of them for bats? Which arms, and how much can they get in return?
Now, of course, some of these could be handled in conjunction with other deals. In other words, they could work a trade to fill two of these needs. How many young pitchers will they be able to keep? We likely won’t have answers to any of these by the end of the week, but when the team gets to spring training, it will be interesting to look back and find out how these situations play themselves out. Are there other things you would like to see done? If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me. Thanks again!