Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I Expect to See Today

Well -- what I expect to read about, anyway. Today is the final day of my crazy week-long moving extravaganza, so I'll probably be in Denver helping my two soon-to-be-Ex roommates unload their possessions into a new place. Nonetheless, I'll be trying to catch updates on ESPN radio as often as possible because, honestly, today is my third favorite day of the baseball season behind Opening Day and the First Day of the Playoffs (every one of those capital letters has been earned).

The morning has opened, interestingly enough, with news that Ken Griffey, Jr. may soon be a member of the Chicago White Sox. There was a time when this news might have freaked me out a little bit, but if the ChiSox want to add a guy who's hitting .245 on the year and isn't exactly a young man anymore, more power to 'em. The one worry I would have is that moving a player with the talent of Griffey into a playoff chase might motivate him -- but while Griffey still has the name, let's be honest and acknowledge that he's not exactly a "major" addition at this point in his career.

Will the Twins counterpunch? Many fans are annoyed with Bill Smith for essentially standing pat so far. Then again, many fans are easily frustrated when a GM does nothing, thinking that it's automatically a sign of failure. For these folks, a trade -- any trade -- is an indication of a hard-working, aggressive GM who is doing his best to help his team win. I am decidedly NOT in that camp, and I feel pretty strongly that there are times when no trade is better than a poorly conceived or badly executed trade. This is especially true if a team picks up a rent-a-player for an excessively high price in prospects.

But I digress. The question for the day is what will the Twins do -- and I actually think there's a better than even chance that at least one, and possibly several, deals are consummated. Here are a few things that could go down:

1.) Boof Bonser is a goner. I give this a 70% chance of happening. La Velle Neal reported a bit on it last night, and a deal makes too much sense not to get done. The Twins don't need Bonser right now, and could benefit from opening up a place in the bullpen to shove somebody into once Francisco Liriano is called up. It's also pretty clear that Bonser is not going to get back into the starting rotation mix with the Twins. Bonser could be included as one part of a bigger deal, but I actually think it's more likely that he's traded in a small side deal, straight up for a low-level prospect. Moving Bonser is the best thing for all sides, so I hope it happens.

2.) Acquiring a second baseman. Call it about 35%. I'm sure the Twins have been calling a lot of GM's in the last 24 hours, seeing if anyone is available. What I'm not so sure of is whether anyone suitable fits the bill. The Twins should not overspend to cover second base, because Alexi Casilla will be back next year and hopefully will be able to pick up where he left off. If he can, he's going to be the full time starter for at least several more years, which means the Twins are firmly in rent-a-player territory. The acquisition of any veteran infielder that would allow the Twins to part with Adam Everett would be fine by me -- but not if the price is too high. I've seen Mark Grudzielanek's name mentioned a few times, and frankly that would be perfect. How much will the Royals demand for him, though?

3.) Acquiring a right-handed hitting third baseman. I'll put this at no more than 15%. Supposedly the Adrian Beltre talks have been re-opened, but unless the Mariners are willing to eat most of his 2008 and 2009 salaries (he's set to make $12 million next year), or are willing to take back peanuts in exchange for him so that they can just get rid of his contract, I don't see a deal getting done. Frankly, I hope no deal is made -- at least for Beltre. He's hitting .257 this year, and while he would add a bit of power (he has 18 dingers this year), I'm not all that excited about adding a guy with his recent track record not just for this year but for all of next.

4.) Absolutely nothing. No more than 10%. I feel pretty confident that the Twins will make a move of some kind, even if it is a tiny, virtually meaningless deal. Maybe this is just me wanting something to write about when I eventually make it home tonight. Of course, this is just the non-waiver deadline, so even if nothing is done today there's still a chance for a trade throughout August. My guess, though, is that fans will have at least one new face to cheer for tomorrow.



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