Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, November 05, 2007

Nightly Notes

This is going to be a quick notes column -- it's been awhile since I said anything baseball related, and I wanted to keep in touch with some things to at least register an opinion. As I said earlier, sometime soon I'll be commenting on which players I think the Twins should add to the 40-man roster prior to the November 20 deadline, and I'll also comment on potential free agent pickups sometime before November 13. Now, onto the notes:

1.) La Velle Neal of the Strib speculated/reported today the Twins and Red Sox are at least thinking about the possibility of a trade that would send center fielder Coco Crisp to the Twins in exchange for . . . something. It sounds like this is more than something that was just tossed around because it makes sense -- instead, this looks like a legitimate discussion for a deal that could be swung if Torii Hunter goes elsewhere and the two sides can agree to legitimate compensation for Crisp. The obvious question is whether or not Crisp warrants attention from the Twins.

While Crisp is not even close to being a legitimate replacement for Hunter, he would be a far better option than most of the players the Twins could legitimately expect to get on the free agent market (let's be honest -- the Twins wouldn't pay for Andruw Jones even if he were still in his prime, and Aaron Rowand is going to end up making a lot of money playing somewhere, more than likely). Also, as I've mentioned many, many times this year, there is simply no replacement in the Twins organization for Hunter. As a result, I'm forced to conclude that Crisp, whose salary would be $4.75 M in 2008 and $5.75 M in 2009 (with an $8 M option for 2010), is a reasonably priced alternative.

Of course, if the Twins make this move and also make good on earlier promises to slightly raise payroll next year, there's a chance they could find a reasonable DH -- and if that player could come anywhere near Hunter's power and run-producing talents, the Twins could potentially end up better off. Finding a third baseman will be more difficult. Don't expect any move until Torii Hunter lands somewhere, though -- the Twins seem to legitimately want to bring him back, and maybe something will happen on that front. I'd guess that if a deal gets done, it will be sometime in January.

2.) Andy Pettite declined his option with the Yankees today, saying that he needs more time to decide whether he wants to retire or come back for another year. While I believe that Pettite is simply still evaluating his options, I wonder how much of this decision rests on the relative turmoil surrounding the Yankees this off-season. If Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera both bailed out, for instance, it might be significantly less attractive for Pettite to return. We'll see how this plays out, but I've thought for most of the off-season that Pettite would probably decide not to come back next year, while Posada and Rivera would return.

3.) 296 yards? Really? That's just insane.

4.) The weak market for starting pitchers just got weaker tonight, with Greg Maddux re-upping with the Padres for 1-year and $10 million. Not that he was an option for too many teams -- he seems to be pretty selective with where he decides to play. Still, that's one less warm body available, and it makes Carlos Silva just that much more valuable. Chief's gonna get paid this winter.

5.) I don't usually want the Yankees to be right about something, but I'm hoping that they have correctly read the market for A-Rod if they don't negotiate with him. Nobody is going to give him $350 million over the next 10-years -- it's just not going to happen. How funny would it be, though, if he wasn't able to get a deal for more than, say, 5 years because of the significant insurance issues involved with such a long-term move? I really just want Scott Boras to be put in his place on this one. A-Rod is going to make a ton of money no matter what happens; I just want it to be for a shorter term and for less than the Amazing Boras thought it would be for.

Unfortuantely, human nature probably means that A-Rod and Boras will win this one, too. Think about it -- if you've decided that A-Rod is worth $25 million a season, are you going to let $5 million/year stop you from signing him? While it makes sense economically to set a maximum value and not budge from it, I have a feeling that the temptation will be to keep moving the marker; all it takes is one guy deciding he has to have A-Rod to make Boras a winner yet again. Incidentally, let me just say that I think A-Rod "deserves" whatever the market will bear for him. If some fool is going to give him $30 million for 10 years, so be it. This isn't about sticker shock at the potential contract -- it's just about me wanting to see Boras get stuffed.



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