Well, this is extremely disappointing. Corey Koskie was sent to the Brewers for next to nothing, in the form of minor league reliever Brian Wolfe. Not to mention picking up $7 million of Koskie's remaining contract and the discovery that his 2008 option only comes with 1200 PA in 2006 and 2007 combined (highly unlikely). This is a deal that Terry Ryan should have jumped at. Thats essentially covering all but $2 million a year.
If that meant dropping Tony Batista's $1.25 million in salary, big deal. What are we left with? A hole at third base again to start the season. We needed Koskie in order to complete a favorable off-season, but now, I rate the offseason as being unsuccessful in many ways.
Many will say that Pohlad's raising of the budget by over $10 million is a huge success. Indeed it is, as are the acquisitions of Rondell White and Luis Castillo. However, the Twins set out this offseason to improve three positions: 2B, 3B, and DH. They did very well on two of those, but Batista doesn't cut it. He's fine as a role player off the bench maybe, but he isn't much of an improvement over Michael Cuddyer at third base and he isn't going to get much better at age 33.
In Koskie, the Twins would have gotten a good team leader and a guy who would at least have an OPS over .800, which can't be said for Batista or Cuddyer. Not to mention the solid defense. If we had to turn around and trade Lohse for some good, young talent, so what? What is the loss in that? We need more infield and outfield depth anyways, as the Twins do not have a plurality of great minor league hitters waiting to hit the bigs right now.
All in all, its very disappointing to see the failure. It's an indiciation that indeed, we may have to put up with Batista at third base after all. That's really too bad. With all the moves of the White Sox and the Indians' young core, it was already going to be tough for the Twins to win the Central. Now, it will be harder because of what Koskie could have meant for a measly second-rate minor leaguer and $2 million a year or so, which is far less then we offered a year ago. Very disappointing.