Posted at 3:25 PM on July 15, 2008
by Chris Dall
I don't know about you, but I was shocked to hear that the Twins put in a call to the Seattle Mariners about third baseman Adrian Beltre. The Twins? Calling another team about a high-priced veteran player? Maybe this is a new era for the Twins.
Beltre would be an interesting addition. He's never hit much for average (2004 aside), but he hits lefties pretty well (.270 career average) and his 16 home runs would lead the team. He'd certainly help provide some protection for Morneau. And my guess is that his Gold Glove defense is a big selling point for Bill Smith and Gardy. But he does have one year left on his deal, at about $12 million.
The question is what are the Mariners asking for in return, and what are Twins willing to give up? Seattle is clearly in dump mode, so maybe they wouldn't ask much. Would they take Mike Lamb as part of a deal? What if they come back and ask for, say, Glenn Perkins and a prospect, should the Twins go for it?
My guess is that Bill Smith didn't expect to be in this position this season.
Who do you think would best help the Twins as they gear up for the second half?
I'd heard rumors about this before, and depending on what they're asking for, it might not be a bad idea. Buscher has been doing an all right job, but I don't see him taking over the position anytime soon. If the Mariners would take, say... Lamb and Bonser, I say pull the trigger (and what the hell, throw in Everett while I'm dreaming).
The Seattle Times M's beat writer has said the trade is "improbable" at best. Stranger things have happened I guess, but I'm not holding my breath.
One of the big selling points for this years team was that all the key layers were locked up for several years. I would hate to see management go out and overpay to try and win a division title at the cost of being serious contenders for a World Series title in a year or two. If they were willing to take Bonser and Lamb or something like that, fine pull the trigger, but I don't see this being a realistic possibility.
Another issue with Beltre is that he seems to be very slump prone, and the Twins hitters seem to have more trouble than most breaking out of slumps to begin with.
The big upside I see is that he put up monster numbers in his last contract year, which would be his position next season.
I've been thinking about this deal since we talked about it on Morning Edition. I'd love to see the Twins pull the trigger on a move like this. They don't have an everyday third baseman and I'm not convinced the platoon system is going to hold up.
Beltre is a Gold Glover, hits for power, and has playoff experience and can provide veteran leadership. But does anyone honestly believe the Twins will take on a $13 million salary?
Hey, the closer we get to 2010, the more I expect the Twins to pony up. We gave Pohlad's wrinkly old hide a stadium. He now effectively owes us.
I'm not sure the money would be the big issue. I think the Twins would take on the salary if they could get rid of Lamb, but they might balk if Seattle wants one of the young pitchers. I don't see them giving away another young arm after the Garza deal. Maybe they can get another team involved.