I have been doing some thinking the last couple days about the Twins and thought it was a good time to write about it to see what all of my readers think about this.
This morning I was going through my prospect list and when I think they will be ready to help the Twins. I admit I was being shortsighted when it came to Casey Blake. To sign him to a 3 year deal with an option is really stupid and I was the one who was all for it. The reason is Danny Valencia everything I have read and heard from him that have seen him live tells me that by signing Casey Blake we would be blocking the top infield prospect in the whole organization from taking his rightful spot at 3rd base for the Twins. I really believe Valencia is going to be ready to take over 3rd base for the Twins on opening day 2010 when the Twins move into Target Field. I really think it is a blessing that the Dodgers overpaid for Blake because with Valencia's talent he would of found a way to get onto the field and we would be stuck with a 6 million a year utility guy. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford that but not the Twins we will always be somewhat limited in payroll so we cant afford it. I really believe that Valencia is the future for the Twins and they should not block him. However, if the Twins can find a 1 year option at 3rd base by all means i would do it. I would go back to Seattle to see if they are any more serious about trading Adrian Beltre because he would be perfect because he is a very good player and after the season they can let Beltre go and get the 2 draft picks. I would only look at 3rd basemen that are free agents after 09 because after that the future will be now for Danny Valencia.
Am I the only one who thinks that now is the time to start locking up some of these players long term before they can even sniff free agency. I have heard the names of Baker, Kubel, Liriano, Slowey and such but the guy that I really believe that we need to get signed before he can even think about free agency and that player is Joe Mauer. He is the most indispensible player on the team. I know he has 2 years left on his contract, but if you wait until next year at this team he may decide he will want to wait and become a free agent. I think you can argue that Joe Mauer is the best player in the game with 2 batting titles already in the bank and teams like the Yankees and Boston starving for a phenom at catcher. So if im the Twins I dont let him even think about leaving Minnesota I would lock him up for 6 more years. By doing that you have one less thing to worry about and you guarantee the 1-2 punch of mauer and mourneau for atleast the next 5 seasons and that totally makes sense. Don't get me wrong I would also try to lock up Scott Baker and Jason Kubel also. I would wait on Liriano for another year to see if we are looking at the Franchise or just a good Francisco Liriano. I would also like to see another year of Kevin Slowey to prove last year was not a fluke.
Lastly, looking at the farm system and who we have at the major league level we need to start thinking about the future of our outfield. We have quite a few outfielders taht I think are going to be ready by then and there are only 3 positions so we need to decide what to do with them. Look at the names that are projected as starters in the big leagues.
That is 8 outfielders for 4 spots and yeah i know some of those guys will not be ready for a few years so you dont have to worry about it quite yet. However, eventually the Twins are going to have to deal with the situation. My view is probably trade Delmon Young because for whatever reason Gardy is not a fan of Delmon Young and it will just cause problems in the clubhouse. When Michael Cuddyer's contract expires after the 2010 season i would let him leave. I may be in the minority here but i view Carlos Gomez as a future star for the Twins who will learn better plate discipline. I think Aaron Hicks will be the crown jewel of the organization in a couple years I look for him to supplant Gomez in Center in 2011 and move Gomez to left field. I see Angel Morales as a star also that will be running right field beginning in 2011. I really believe with his bat and speed and being that he has played there before i see sooner or later Ben Revere to return to 2nd base for the Twins and Alexi Casilla moving to short. When it comes to Denard Span if he has another good year this year I would keep him until Hicks and Morales are ready to join the Twins then trade him. In retrospect I see our starting lineup in 2011 as
C Joe Mauer
1st Justin Mourneau
2nd Ben Revere
SS Alexi Casilla
3b Danny Valencia
LF Carlos Gomez
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Angel Morales
DH Jason Kubel
Everyone let me know what you think on this