One move to improve them all:


Sign a power lefthanded reliever. Free agency is often a bad idea in baseball. You wind up paying large sums to players prone to breaking down or slumping or failing to adapt to a new ballpark. This is where the Twins should spend what it takes. Go get Antonio Bastardo, add his arm to Perkins, Jepsen and Fien, and then go get one more power reliever. This is a place worth overspending.


Trade Kevin Martin. I know - I'm late on this. Sounds like the Wolves are already walking down this path. He's a volume shooter who doesn't play defense. He's a terrible fit for a young team trying to apportion shots intelligently and teach its young players the importance of an overall floor game. Trading for nothing would be fine. Trading him for something would be a steal.


Ride Jarret Stoll. This could be a tremendous addition for a team lacking in center depth. He may not be the player he once was but he can be better than most fourth-line centers. Give him all the work he can handle.


More Pondering. Teddy Bridgewater is far better than Christian Ponder, but he's still a young quarterback trying to guide a team into the playoffs. The Vikings coaxed decent performances out of Ponder down the stretch in 2012 by giving him easy throws early in the game, allowing him to build confidence and play safe. Norv Turner did well at that against Arizona, helping Bridgewater overcome a bad performance against Seattle with his career best for passing yards. The Vikings' receivers are better catch-and-run performers than deep threats, anyway. Let Bridgewater build his confidence, then take your shots downfield.


Michael Russo and I will record our podcast at 4 p.m. today at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub in St. Paul, right down the street from the X. Kenny Albert will be our guest. Please stop by.

Also up at Roy Smalley on the Twins, winter moves, Prince and Jazz; Jon Krawczynski on the Wolves and Warriors; Viking Update's Tim Yotter on the Vikes; and on Friday we'll post my talk with longtime Chicago football writer Dan Pompei, who covers the NFL for Bleacher Report and can be found at Dan