Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monroe's Aboard

Joe Christensen reported yesterday that the Twins have come to terms on a one-year contract with Craig Monroe, an arbitration-eligible outfielder whom they acquired from the Cubs about a month ago. The Twins signed Monroe for the smallest amount they could by rule at $3.82 million - a 20 percent reduction from his salary in 2007. That seems like an awful lot of money for a guy who hit .219/.268/.347 last season.

However, while I'm not overly enthused about the signing, I'm not too upset about it. In essence, what Bill Smith has done with the Twins' outfield so far this offseason is replace Rondell White with Delmon Young and Lew Ford with Craig Monroe, without much fluctuation in cost overall. Those are pretty significant upgrades. Despite his poor numbers last season, Monroe is a solid fourth outfielder who can come off the bench and provide some pop. He also hits well against lefties (.814 career OPS), which should be useful given that the Twins' 2008 lineup will likely contain at least four left-handed bats in Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel and the center fielder (who I'm currently presuming will be either Jason Pridie or Jacoby Ellsbury).

It seems likely that Monroe will be overpaid in 2008, but that's really a luxury that Twins can afford, with have a massive chunk of payroll coming off the books even if Johan Santana isn't dealt. The Twins have continually claimed that they intend to increase payroll in 2008 -- it seems like they'll have a hard time doing so without handing out a few pricey short-term deals.

6 comments:

Tricia said...

I am always willing to give a new guy the chance to prove himself. That said, I'm a little crabby about the glut of outfielders, and we don't even have a new centerfielder yet. I know we need guys off the bench, but I sincerely hope keeping Monroe doesn't cut into Kubel's playing time. I remember during one of the miserable series against Detroit, he watched three belt-high fastballs whizz past him, and didn't even take the bat off his shoulder. If my memory serves me correctly, after that is when he really got rolling for the year. I want him to play regularly! BTW, did you hear that Jason Tyner may have been non-tendered?

Nick N. said...

I agree with all your points Tricia. And yes, I've heard about Tyner. Assuming it's true, I can get behind that. Tyner just isn't a very valuable player.

RR said...

I cant see where Monroe is worth the $$ they are paying him, especially then to release Tyner because of cost. I'm not saying they should have kept Tyner, but he is worth waaaaay more than Monroe. When I hear GM's groan about money and then see a move like this I dont get it.

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