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Smith Hit a Homerun with this Deal

Posted at 9:22 AM on November 29, 2007 by David Zingler

With all due respect to Chris, the news here is not that the Twins traded Garza, it’s that they got Delmon Young. Young was the #1 overall pick in 2003, has hit at every level and has HUGE upside. This guy is the stud right-handed hitter the Twins need. And he’s only 22. He may not replace Torii Hunter’s defense (although he is a corner outfielder with a cannon arm) or charisma, but he could put up better offensive numbers than Hunter in 2008. Oh yeah, did I mention he’s only 22.

This trade made sense for both teams: the Twins have a glut of young arms and the Rays have a bevy of young bats. I happened to think the Twins got the better of the deal because of the principles – Young and Garza – Young is the more proven major league commodity. He played in all 162 games last season and hit .288/.316/.408 with 13 homers and 93 RBI as a 21-year-old. Garza meanwhile, has only logged 133 innings in two seasons, going 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA and .297 opponents batting average.

Sure the deal leaves a hole at shortstop, but as Chris points out below, Brendan Harris is a similar player to Bartlett and may be able to step in capably. If not, we are still early enough in the off-season cycle for the Twins to acquire another infielder or three. Plus, there’s the imminent Santana deal, which should net a fairly good bounty (it better).

So, while I am frustrated by the Pohlad’s frugality and duplicity, I am delighted by the resourcefulness of the Twins front office. Bill Smith’s first deal is a winner, but the hard work has just begun.

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