Tuesday Night, November 27, 2007
with La Velle E. Neal
Back again! I am going to start a series of Questions that I sent to several of the Twins bloggers. They are questions about the offseason, the Twins, potential moves and a little about their sites.
To start the series, I thought it would be great to get the thoughts of La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He is the Twins Beat Writer and does a great job. He also writes Twins Insider, a Twins blog with a lot of great information that you could not get in the printed version of the newspaper. La Velle was kind enough to answer several questions for us today, and I really appreciate it. You can also find La Velle as an Expert Panelist in the SethSpeaks.net NFL “Expert” Picks each week!
You will definitely want to check out La Velle’s article from today in which he mentioned that Errol Simonitsch and Ricky Barrett were both taken off of the 40 man roster. I have commented that both of them should have been before, so I find the timing of this very interesting. That’s why I wanted to get this posted right away, rather than wait. I just have a gut feeling (and I have a big gut!) that something is going to be happening very soon. I am now beginning to think that Johan Santana will be traded by the end of the week, before the Winter Meetings even start, maybe even sooner. Also, I am hoping the rumors of a Coco Crisp trade might be happening. Of course, should anything happen, be sure to check back here for my thoughts! Is Boof headed to Tampa Bay to become a Ray? Who would be involved in that deal?
(oh, and I don’t buy the rumors of talk between the Angels and Twins on a deal that would send Justin Morneau to Anaheim… or LA, whatever… for Casey Kotchman and Ervin Santana. Makes no sense.)
(oh, and BP just posted their Top 11 Twins Prospects.)
But for now, let’s get to the Questions and Answers with La Velle E. Neal:
SethSpeaks: Any final thoughts on the Torii Hunter saga?
La Velle E. Neal: Everything we heard late in the season proved to be true: Torii was a goner. The Twins end up looking good for their decision because of the deal Hunter was able to get from the Angels. Is Torii worth a five year deal at his age? It's a gamble either way. He could break down. He could also age well.
SethSpeaks: To trade, or not to trade? What is your gut feeling regarding whether the Twins will sign Johan Santana to a long term deal, trade him or keep him into the 2008 season? If you would to give a 'percent certainty' that Johan will be traded, where would you put it?
La Velle E. Neal: I think the Twins should trade Johan, but it takes two teams and an agent to make it happen. I'd say there's a 60 percent chance because of Johan's veto power.
SethSpeaks: The Twins have been hesitant in the past to trade young pitchers. It sounds like that theory may be somewhat altered this offseason. Are there any of the Twins young pitchers that would be considered untouchable?
La Velle E. Neal: No. Everyone should be in play. The Twins have failed to produce position players the way they have produced pitchers, and it's time to use their young pitchers to fill in holes elsewhere.
SethSpeaks: As of today, where would you rank the Twins in the AL Central?
La Velle E. Neal: Fighting with Kansas City for fourth place.
SethSpeaks: What would you consider the top three things that the Twins need to do this offseason?
La Velle E. Neal: Find a good center fielder. Find a good third baseman. Lock up Justin Morneau.
SethSpeaks: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that Bill Smith will be able to do the things that the Twins need to compete?
La Velle E. Neal: Five, but it's more reflective of what ownership provides a GM to do his job. I think Smith is a very smart guy and has a lot of experience. It's ownership that worries me the most.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about what you try to do on your blog, and what you write about during the offseason?
La Velle E. Neal: I just try to get information out there as soon as possible and provide readers a place to discuss Twins issues.
SethSpeaks: Now that you have blogged for a season (And into an offseason), have your thoughts changed at all on blogs, blogging and bloggers?
La Velle E. Neal: Not really. There are some great bloggers, good bloggers and some people who are nuts.
SethSpeaks: Is it possible for bloggers and the mainstream media to work together?
La Velle E. Neal: Aren't we doing that now? :)
Good point, La Velle, Good Point!! Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I am sure the readers all appreciate it!