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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time to Get Down to Business

After losing 2 lefties in 1 day, the Yankees would seem to
be a logical desitnation for Francisco Liriano
After I not-so-closely followed yesterday's Twins debacle on my computer, I realized that this game was the turning point for me. There's no sense trying to compete for the next 3 months to win what's shaping up to be a weak AL Central, when instead the Twins should be focusing on trading several players to legitimately competitive teams. I still love the team as much as I always do, but it's time to pack it in and focus on the future.

Although the position players have generally remained healthy, the pitching staff has been decimated. It says something when, if the season ended right now and the Twins somehow were in the playoffs, your 1-2 starting pitching combination would be Scott Diamond and Nick Blackburn. There have been (and will continue to be) many spot starts by AAA or AAAA (at best) players, some of whom will rack up several thousand frequent flyer miles on the Rochseter-Minneapolis shuttle. We're watching Brian Dozier go through a protracted rookie slump, both at the plate and on defense. For the record, I'm OK with that. I still maintain that his upside is worth the hiccups now, but it's clear that he has work do to. We're trying to figure out Justin Morneau's future, as well as the intertwined future of Chris Parmelee. I think the organization needs to decide what Alexi Casilla's future is. We're giving auditions to some new bullpen guys like Tyler Robertson. We're seeing if Ben Revere can hit .300 on a consistent basis. In short, there's a lot of stuff up in the air, which does not bode well for a team that is not quite halfway through the season. This isn't to suggest that the Twins can't be better than they were last year -- they should be -- it's to suggest that 2012 is not going to be their year, and that I'm officially declaring that right now. And I think the Twins need to declare that right now, as well.

That being said, it's time to make tough decisions. The Twins should not be desparate -- they have some tradeable assets that should yield several offers. And they have more than 4 weeks of working the phones left before the trade deadline. So here's what I think they need to do: I would trade Denard Span. I would trade Francisco Liriano. In fact, given the Yankees' recent injuries to CC Sabathia and Andy Pettite (though the Yanks said they would likely handle the vacancies internally), I would probably be on the phone with Brian Cashman this morning. I would listen on Josh Willingham. I would trade Carl Pavano, assuming he establishes his health. I would declare Ben Revere the center fielder of the future (like until 2014). I would give September call-ups to Chris Herrmann (if he is batting around .270), and possibly Oswaldo Arcia, assuming he plays well in July and August for New Britain. I want to see what those guys have. I still keep Justin Morneau, unless a foolish team comes calling with a crazy offer. I think the return on him would be very low, and if the Twins do deal him, it should be next year, when he is in his walk year and is owed less money.

Those are just some ideas, and they of course are not unique, nor are they my ideas. The point here is simply that the time has come to officially look toward 2013 and beyond. Well beyond. The worst action this summer is inaction.

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