Well, Well, Well
The Twins should never have signed Livan in the first place, as I've been saying since before the season started. I know that some of you feel that he benefited the team with his experience and his ability to "eat innings" (who cares, says I -- if the innings are crappy then he's not valuable). Still, the Twins essentially didn't lose anything but $5 million and some pride by signing him. Some might argue they lost a roster spot, but Liriano needed some time in the minors anyway, so I'm not all that worried about the roster spot he took up.
Unfortunately, the Twins actually gave up a player to acquire Craig Monroe -- and it's looking like a pretty bad trade right now. Full disclosure: I pretty much backed up GM Bill Smith when the deal was done, because I didn't think the Twins were giving up too much. The player we gave up, a first baseman/outfielder by the name of Doug Deeds, is having a pretty great season in AA for the Cubs, however. He's hitting .341 with 9 homers and 46 RBI (and a 940 OPS) in 334 AB's. That's no guarantee that Deeds will have any future success at higher levels, but considering that the Twins got virtually nothing out of Monroe it still looks like a pretty bad deal.
Finally, a word on Randy Ruiz -- I'm really excited to see whether he can do anything at the big league level. He's been around forever, starting off his minor league career in the GCL with the Reds in 1999. He's been busted for steroid use. He's come back (presumably) clean. And this year, he's been great for the Red Wings. I was excited about him in Spring Training, and I was even rooting for him to make the club back then. Instead, he'll get his chance tonight as a first time big leaguer. Good luck, Randy!
Anyway, two thumbs up for these moves. Let's hope the Twins get the series with the Indians off on the right foot with a win tonight.