Two weeks ago, I devised an offseason wish list with my plan for the Twins' offseason and posted it with the hope that it would generate some good conversation. Boy, did it ever. Beyond the 38 comments that people left here on that post, several other bloggers offseason blueprints of their own. A few days after I posted mine, Matthew Whipps from Twins Killings wrote up a list of moves that he would like to see, in which he suggests that the Twins deal Johan Santana to the Red Sox for Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis. Then, a few days ago, Peter Schoenke of RotoWire posted his blueprint, which he said was "kind of a rebuttal" to mine. Indeed, Schoenke has some very different views than me on how the Twins should handle the upcoming offseason, as he suggests that the Twins keep Santana, trade away four pitching prospects and let Carlos Silva walk.
The great thing about these ideas that people have concocted is that they are really never wrong. Well, OK... they can be wrong. But, for the most part, each list that I have seen has featured a lot of reasonable, defensible ideas for how to get handle some sticky situations that the Twins will face in the coming months.
One issue that I have with a lot of the lists I've read is that they don't do enough to fix the offense. I fully expect a few of the Twins' hitters to bounce back next season to some degree, but this is a team that ranked 25th in the league in runs scored over the course of the season -- a major overhaul is needed. That's why I suggested the acquisitions of Matt Kemp, Garrett Atkins and Barry Bonds... the Twins would be getting fresh starters at three positions that currently project as major weaknesses next year while adding a ton of power to their impotent lineup. Furthermore, Atkins and Kemp are potentially long-term fixes.
Unfortunately, I don't expect the offseason to play out like any of these grand plans have suggested. A realistic scenario, to me, would involve the Twins keeping Santana, signing Mike Sweeney to play DH, and bringing in a guy like Darin Erstad to replace Torii Hunter in center field. I do, however, fully believe that the Twins will make some sort of trade to bring in a third baseman. It might not be a player of Atkins's caliber, but I'm convinced that Ron Gardenhire and the front office have grown tired of the team's perpetual ineffectiveness at the hot corner, and I don't believe they view any of the internal options as potential answers to the issue.