Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Trade for Koskie Heating Up

The Star Tribune ran a report today by Joe Christensen that suggests a trade for Koskie is more likely then we may have thought. Apparently, the Blue Jays are offering Koskie back to the Twins for essentially a bag of baseballs. Well, not exactly. The Jays have floated the idea of taking on $3 million of Koskie's remaining two-year, $11.5 million contract (essentially, what we offered Koskie in 2004, two years and $8.5 million) or even more. In return, they want a mid-level prospect, no one like Scott Baker, but a reasonable prospect with some potential. (Like Alexi Casilla, whom we got in the J.C. Romero trade)

Garrett Jones, Kevin West, J.D. Durbin, or Errol Simontisch all seem like reasonable prospects to give up for Koskie. Many have already suggested that Koskie and Batista can make a decent platoon. The issue there is, of course, that Gardy isn't very talented at using platoons and Batista doesn't exactly hit lefties much better than righties. But he'll give a guarantee if Koskie gets hurt and provide a decent back-up and bench player.

Trading for Koskie would, in a way, help to make sense of the Batista signing. $1.25 million is a lot for a bench player and it was too much to keep LeCroy around, when he hits lefties so solidly. But if Koskie's healthy, he has a strong bat and glove to alleviate the issues we have at the hot corner. That would make for a more solid line-up, even with one more lefty:

Stewart
Castillo
Mauer
White
Koskie
Hunter
Morneau
Kubel
Bartlett

That looks a lot stronger to me, as we may be able to string together some more run production. As Gleeman put it on his board recently, its not that the Twins need a great lineup, they just need some improvements to support the tremendous pitching staff they have.

A trade for Koskie might not work out, but it's reasonable enough with what seems to be in the workings. Yes, they may need to drop Batista's salary to clear up room, but no one is going to cry about that. And if they drag out the negotiations a little longer, they may get lucky and the Jays may pick up more of his salary. It would be a good fit for the Twins, as Koskie's clubhouse presence was important to the team before, it would be good again. And Morneau even admitted last year that he missed the big Canadian. Who knows? His presence might even turn Justin around.