With the 2005 season quickly approaching the rearview mirrow as the Twins slump horribly and lose again and again to their post-season competitor's, it is becoming increasingly necessary to take a look ahead to next year. Are the Twins going to be able to bounce back and return to the playoffs next year? I have trouble believing that, because, as I have made very clear on this blog and others, I am strongly of the opinion that Terry Ryan shot this team in the foot by failing to pull the trigger on a trade Sunday. There are a lot of questions looking ahead to next season, one of which I am going to delve into today.
With the failure of Michael Cuddyer, who is the Twins' third base answer for the next several years?
If you watched any of his at-bats last night, you know it's not Terry Tiffee. I know Tiff isn't as bad as he has looked in his recent Major League performance, but I also know he's not good enough, offensively or defensively, to be a Major League starter. Alas, with Cuddyer's total ineptitude, the Twins are going to have problems at third base. Their classic philosophy of filling from within doesn't look like it will work here, as the only guy in the Twins minor league system who I could see being ready for the Majors any time soon is Matt Moses, and I believe he's in Fort Myers and a few years away. Terry Ryan might try to sign a free agent third-baseman in the off-season, but then again, when is the last time the Twins signed a starting position player?
If TR had been able to unload a Joe Mays/JC Romero type package for even a Bill Mueller or a Joe Randa, they would have a short-term solution at third base until their system can produce a legitimate player. As it stands, with Corey Koskie gone and Cuddyer and Tiffee proving to be backups at best, the Twins are going to have a troublesome situation at the hot corner going into the 2006 season.