Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.
In about five hours, this post will be moot because the non-waiver trade deadline will have passed.
I like Denard Span a lot, and I won't feel bad if all the trade talk is just that and a deal doesn't go through.
I also think that if the Twins can get Drew Storen and Stephen Lombardozzi from the Washington Nationals, it's a deal that should be made.
The Twins are not going to pay Joe Nathan the $12.5 million option on his contract for 2012 and I'm going to assume that, as much love as he might have for the Twins, there will be a team willing to offer him enough money for him to go elsewhere. Matt Capps shouldn't be a trusted part of the future and Glen Perkins, if this season is an indication of what he can really do, can't be the entire bullpen.
To dismiss Storen as "Capps, the sequel" is silly.
To trade a 600 at-bat outfielder for an 80-inning pitcher isn't a slick idea, either.
But if the Twins can address another issue, I'm for taking the risk.
Lombardozzi, whose father played second base for the Twins in the 1980s (and has never gotten enough credit for his play during the 1987 World Series), has been a better-than-solid minor-leaguer in the Washington organization. Split between Class AA and AAA this season, he has a .364 on-base percentage and .445 slugging percentage, with the numbers staying consistent after his promotion. He's a switch-hitter too.
Minor-league fielding metrics are sketchy, but Lombardozzi has made only two errors in 407 chances this season -- almost all at second base with a few games at shortstop.
If the Twins can pick up a closer and an every-day second baseman in return for Span, they'll be a better team for doing so. Middle infield isn't exactly a strength, right?
But the deal needs to be for Storen and Lombardozzi. Accept no substitutes.
Here are a few recent stories and blog posts about Lombardozzi:
Washington Times, July 12.
Federal Baseball, July 27
Bleacher Report, January 5
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