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2007 Minnesota Twins

Given their postseason berth, you wouldn't expect Twins fans to be clamoring for a writeup on the '07 club.  They have been, however, and I aim to please.

Terry Ryan's contract obligations:

C - Joe Mauer - $0.4MM
C - Mike Redmond - $0.95MM
1B - Justin Morneau - $0.385MM
2B - Luis Castillo - $5.75MM
SS - Jason Bartlett - $0.38MM
3B - Nick Punto - $0.69MM
IF - Luis Rodriguez - $0.38MM
LF -
CF - Torii Hunter - $12MM option
RF - Michael Cuddyer - $1.3MM
OF - Lew Ford - $0.425MM
OF - Jason Tyner - $0.38MM
DH - Jason Kubel - $0.38MM

SP - Johan Santana - $12MM
SP - Carlos Silva - $4.35MM
SP - Boof Bonser - $0.38MM
SP - Matt Garza - $0.38MM
SP - Scott Baker - $0.38MM
SP - Glen Perkins - $0.38MM
SP - Kevin Slowey - $0.38MM
SP - J.D. Durbin - $0.38MM

RP - Joe Nathan - $5.25MM
RP - Juan Rincon - $0.7MM
RP - Dennys Reyes - $1MM
RP - Jesse Crain - $0.38MM
RP - Pat Neshek - $0.38MM
RP - Matt Guerrier - $0.38MM
RP - Willie Eyre - $0.38MM

Injured:
SP - Francisco Liriano - $0.38MM

This is about $52MM worth of players, raises included.  The team entered '06 with a $63MM payroll.

The big decision, of course, is Torii Hunter.  Declining the chance to have him for one year, $12MM is lunacy, and I don't think that will happen.  Lately Hunter has said he's looking to renegotiate for a four-year deal.  I think he stays and his recently play cemented it.

There's this idea of beginning 2007 with Punto as the starting 3B.  I guess this is rationalized based on defensive abilities.  To be fair, the free agent market for third basemen stinks and the Twins won't be winning the Aramis Ramirez bidding if he hits the market.  The usual trade candidates will surface: Mike Lowell, Hank Blalock.  Can't see Joe Crede traded to a rival, though Morgan Ensberg, Adrian Beltre, or Dallas McPherson could be available.  Pretty sure we'll see Punto at third on opening day though.

Rondell White's option for 2007 won't vest, so the team will be in need of a left fielder, DH, or both.  Kubel may be able to fill the DH role.  Terry Ryan could bring White back at $2MM or so.  While he'll be 35 next season, he's been much better since returning from a demotion in July.  Other options, and names I keep recommending for various teams: Moises Alou, David Dellucci, and Frank CatalanottoLuis Gonzalez would probably do league average work, but he'd have to be convinced to play in Minnesota. 

The pitching rotation looks pretty well set: Santana and the Kids.  Even if Liriano goes down to injury, the #2-5 starters would be Bonser, Garza, Baker, and maybe Perkins.  There are some question marks but it still doesn't justify a huge free agent expenditure.  Perhaps to hedge his best Ryan will spend some of his free $10-15MM on one mid-level guy.  That could be Miguel Batista, Cory Lidle, Jason Marquis, Jeff Suppan, Ramon Ortiz, Chan Ho Park, John Thomson, Jeff Weaver...the list goes on.  It makes sense to snag one.  I don't see much need to tinker with the bullpen; the Twins know that homegrown talent is the way to go.

Overall I don't see the Twins being too active this winter, just like any other offseason.  They'll probably get one starter and a decent left fielder and call it good.  I can't say I'd do much differently aside from the Punto thing.

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Comments

Do you have Mauer and Morneau's raises on there They are Arbatartion eliable this year. I would like to See some power production from 3b but that's unlikey Punto is a Web gem Machine of at 3b but his offsence would be better suited for 2b and would save 5Mil there. I wouldn't mind seeing White back his shoulder must have been pretty bad because after he came back with the cortizone shot to loosen it up he has really been quite good.

If they pick-up Castillo's option can he be traded? I only ask because I wonder if Ryan would do something where he picks up the option with the intent to trade him since castillo would be relatively chaeap and he could get a solid player for 3B or the OF. Say for example he could trade Castillo to the Cubs for Scott Moore.

I believe they can do that, but I'm not 100% sure. Anyone?

Actually I think they can. Didn't Hendry supposedly pick-up Todd Walker's option with the intent to trade him?

Is Shea Hillenbrand a FA? He'd probably be a decent upgrade to Punto.

I belive the Red Sox did that back in Spring Training just before they traded Bronson Arroyo to the Reds.

Arroyo was not an option but rather a contract extension.

His option has Acully vested allready it became automatic at 400 PA or something like that. So Castillo's option is a nonfactor. I don't Think Hillenbrand can a decent 3b anymore so that's probably not a option. Plus TR looks at charcter more than any GM, that might not make him very actractive to the Twins.

if character is so important to TR then why did he pick up Phil Nevin?

Do Padres next!

Do you think a deal's to be had with Boston here? It seems to me that Boston needs a SS who is not an automatic out (i.e. has OBP skills, like Punto) and the Twins could use at least doubles power at 3B (considering that LF and DH are blanks). Trading Punto for Lowell would make sense (if Boston picks up most of Lowell's salary). I tend to think that Boston is going to try to grab a "post-Manny" slugger (the farm is devoid of power and Manny's K's up in 2 years) and A-Ram fits that bill. Obtaining a useful SS for Lowell would be good for Boston and getting a 3b who not only plays great D, but who hits more than 2 HRs a year would be good for the Twins.

I suppose Rondell White would be an alright option.. overall I see the Twins basically bringing back the whole crew maybe adding one guy on pitching and lineup.

One possiblly above average option that might be out there is Gary Sheffield. though I'm starting to think the Yankees will indeed pick up his option to make sure they can decide where he goes (or more importantly, don't go) and get something more ready back for him if they do trade him. (since their farm right now is very bottom heavy, not enough good prospects in the top levels)

As for Punto for Lowell, I'm not sure man, Punto still have two year left before FA, and is pretty cheap and versital Lowell is in his last year next year and slumped pretty badly in the second half. if this deal is going to be pulled Boston probably need to throw in more than just money... it's possible though I suppose.

I agree that it's not the Twins' style to take on a veteran with one year left on his contract (like Lowell), but I think the Twins should look to upgrade offensively here in some way, if possible.

Punto's a fun guy to watch, but he's all singles -- he's had 29 extra base hits all year (including one HR) and this is the only year he's shown something in BA and OBP (think Alex Cora in 2002 who then regressed). I tend to think if Punto sticks as a regular it will have to be as a middle infielder.

Lowell had an August slump (like all of the Sox -- they just didn't hit for a month), but he's finishing strong and has 46 doubles and 19 jacks, almost identical in OBP and Slugging % to Torii Hunter. That's the type of production I think most clubs look for at 3b.

I tend to think if this happens it's a 3 way -- maybe Lowell to LA Dodgers, Matt Kemp to Twins to fill that LF hole and Punto to Boston.

I'm just jonesing for a Punto/ Pedroia DP combo (the 5'8'' Killer P's). It would be almost as good as having Coco Crisp and Boof Bonser play on the same team!

I'm pretty sure the Dodgers would want to keep Kemp... and he's more of a CF guy anyway.

Next year's Dodger should be interesting though. they have so many home grown player it's scary.

Martin
Either
Kemp
Loney
Kuo
Billingsly
(maybe Andy Laroche would be ready next year, though with the news that he need surgery I dunno)

Next year their rotation should be something like

Lowe
Penny
Kuo
Billingsly
(someone)

I think with Wilson Betimet still on board, they should just go out and grab a ace (Matsuzaka?) and try to just live with Betimet at 3B until Laroche is ready.

LA definately is in a very strong postition going into next year... their moves would most likely backfire more than helping. right now.

"if character is so important to TR then why did he pick up Phil Nevin" Actualy i can explain this Gardy and Nevin go way back and are pretty good Friends.

Apparently I missed something since I don't live in Minnesota... why wont they resign Radke? If not them, roto, where do you see him ending up?

He's likely to retire

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