No new news on Jim Thome's chances of landing with the Twins. Meanwhile, I read some of the comments posted here last night and this morning and decided to respond to a few.
LaVelle - Why the interest in Thome? We need the extra help from the right side of the plate, not the left side
A right-handed hitter would likely face lefties, but the Twins aren't going to sit Span, Mauer, Morneau or even Kubel in those cases. A left-handed hitter off the bench can be swapped out for Delmon Young, And most closers are right-handed, so Thome would hit for Punto, Harris. Hardy, Young or even Cuddyer if the matchup calls for it.
The thing that concerns me is wether or not Thome can be a bench player and still be effective
Great point. I read yesterday that Thome's routine begins six hours before game time. Will that have to change if he comes off the bench. And just learning to be a bench player isn't an easy transition.
Maybe the Twins know more about Morneau's injuries than they are letting on. It's possible that they are worried about his health in 2010
Nothing fishy going on. Swapped e-mails with Morneau last week and he was close to returning to full workouts. He wrote that he felt great.
How does Thome NOT make the Twins better? Our bench is pathetic right now. Thome makes the Twins instantly better than they are now
That's why the Twins are looking into this. They had no options off the bench in the postseason last year. Come to think of it, Jose Offerman and Midre Cummings might have been their last good bats off the bench, I just wish the Twins could find someone who could play a couple positions and be more flexible. Then again, Matt Stairs has made good $$$ the past few years in such a role.(photo on right courtesy of David Brewster)
On a side note, I covered Jose Offerman when he was with the Twins and when he was with the Royals. His violent behavior in recent years blows my mind. That is not the man i knew,
Dont rush into a Thome signing........Explore OHud , Lopez or a trade for Lowell / Uggla
Time to manage expectations. I was told late last season the Twins payroll could creep toward $95 million and it's already projecting out to just over $90M. That takes Hudson and Uggla out of the mix. Uggla's defense, anyway, is Ugga-ly. Hudson wants two years, based on the last thing I read about him, and the Twins aren't signing anyone to multi-year deals because 2011 would be the first year of any Mauer extension.
Lopez? Scouts tell me you want to hit the ball to him. Not the Twins' way. That leaves Lowell. Haven't heard his name but I'm guessing he has to prove he's healthy after offseason surgery now.
This is why signing Crede wouldn't surprise me, It would be a low-cost move and a stopgap until Danny Valencia is ready.