Yesterday, as Mr. Mosvick pointed out in his post, the Twins signed veteran Ruben Sierra to a minor-league deal, apparently to give him a shot in spring training. It's an extremely low-risk move, so I can't complain about it one bit, but I am a little puzzled. I can see the value that Sierra would bring as a left-handed pinch-hitter, but I honestly can't see how Sierra possibly makes the 25-man roster this season.
The issue is thus: If the Twins carry 11 pitchers (almost a sure thing), they are left with six spaces for non-starting position players. If they were in a situation like last year, where their projected DH was Lew Ford - a guy who can also backup the outfield spots solidly - then you can afford to carry a guy like Matt LeCroy who really can't play defense anywhere and is solely a pinch-hitter and part-time DH. Unfortunately with, Rondell White in the picture, they can't really afford this luxury. Presuming Jason Kubel wins the starting right field spot out of spring training, the Twins are left with five bench spots which will be filled by Mike Redmond, Juan Castro, Lew Ford, Michael Cuddyer, and Nick Punto. I guess if Kubel isn't ready at the start of the year, maybe you have a spot for Sierra, but with his talent I think it's a foregone conclusion that he will be up eventually, so really it would just be delaying the inevitable.
I think Sierra could be an effective bench player for the Twins, but unfortunately I don't see how there is possibly space for this 40 year-old who can't play defense and hasn't been a particularly good offensive player in the past four years.