Monday, March 17, 2008
The Twins entered Spring Training with a lot of people questioning some Front Office decisions. First, I want to praise GM Bill Smith for acquiring outfielder Delmon Young. His best years are definitely ahead of him and he is already starting to show that he can hit. Other additions like Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, and Craig Monroe are also showing their stuff, along with some of their young pitchers: "The other new acquisitions who have come via trade or free agency have handled themselves very well this month and we are excited to get the season started. We still have some good competition for a few spots on the roster, and the final two weeks will be fun to watch." Yet, the fans are still coming down on them hard for the Santana trade.
Smith was very realistic when it came to the Johan Santana situation, saying through email that, "trading Johan Santana was a difficult decision for the Twins, but one which we had to make. We all have the greatest respect for Johan and everything he contributed to the Twins organization. However, it was clear that we were not going to be able to sign him to an extension, and the best alternative was a trade."
The main reason people came down on the Twins so hard was because they had a chance to get Phil Hughes or Jacoby Ellsbury, but were holding out for more. However, the Twins did acquire some good players with solid potential: "Carlos Gomez has shown all of the skills that our scouts have seen in recent years. He is a little like a wild stallion, but there is no doubting his raw abilities. He brings blazing speed, a strong arm and raw power at the plate. At 22 years old, he has a chance to be an exciting player for many years to come!"
The other players in the trade are not as far along as Gomez, but have held their own in the big league camp: "Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra are all very different and are at different stages of development in their careers, but all showed promise in Major League camp, and we are thrilled to have them on our side."
The Twins are 10-9 so far this spring. I don't care much about the numbers, but if executives and scouts are liking what they see, I think we can expect good things from the Twins, at least for what they have. I doubt they will win the division, but a fight for third place would impress many baseball fans. They are not a bad team on paper, they just need to work with what they got and develop themselves for the next couple of years. I do not know if the players they got in the trade will make a huge impact, but it is definitely a start. Signing Joe Nathan long term will be a solid negotiation ploy for the years to come. It will show their commitment and desire to win - I think they should do it. We will understand more next off season what Smith wants to do with this team, but it sure sounds like he wants to win, so I think they will be aggressive in the coming months to improve.