Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rolen to the Twins?

ESPN's Rumor Central (Insider Account required) is reporting via Buster Olney that the Twins and Cardinals are discussing a deal that would send third baseman Scott Rolen to the Twins -- presumably in exchange for young pitching. While the fact that two teams are "discussing" a deal by no means makes it a sure bet -- or even likely -- to happen, it does mean that there's something concrete to talk about, as opposed to the meaningless speculation that has no basis in fact which fuels most of the Hot Stove.

I'm of two minds on whether a deal for Rolen is a good idea. On one hand, Rolen was one of the best third basemen in the league for a number of years early this decade -- and his 2006 season (.296/22/95/887 OPS) was nothing to sneeze at. On the other, he's been beset by injuries for much of the last 3 seasons, he hit .265/8/58/729 OPS last season, and he's under contract for another 3 years and $36 million.

Bottom Line: If the Twins could get Rolen without giving up too much (I wouldn't give up Slowey or Garza for him, for instance), then I'm in favor of a deal. He could potentially provide a patch for the gaping hole that is 3B for the Twins -- but his injury history and high salary make him a definite risk. Of course, the fact that the Twins are apparently willing to take on Rolen's salary probably means that the front office expects Torii to leave (probably a good bet), because otherwise we couldn't afford him. Weighing everything, let me just say that I'm cautiously optimistic about the possibility of acquiring Rolen, and very excited that Bill Smith seems to be taking a very aggressive approach to addressing this team's needs.

UPDATE: Joe C. shoots down this rumor on his blog -- and strongly indicates that he thinks it would be pretty foolish for the Twins to go this route. I understand where he's coming from, which is why I hesitated above -- but in the end, I would be pleased to see this if the right deal was struck. I tend to believe Christensen over Olney on this, simply because he's more likely to have legitimate access to people in the organization, so this is probably good evidence that a Rolen deal is not going to happen. Not that that's a surprise -- as I said earlier, discussions (if they happened) certainly don't mean a deal is even likely to happen.



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