One can make the argument that each offseason acquisition currently playing for the Twins has been a disappointment to some degree. Carlos Gomez has looked raw and over-matched. Brendan Harris has failed to meet his hitting line from last year. Mike Lamb has had a miserable season at the plate. Delmon Young's rumored power potential has not materialized in any form. Livan Hernandez and Craig Monroe, of course, were recently released as a result of their ineffectiveness (and Hernandez has gotten his career as a Rockie off to a great start!).
Yet, to me, no acquisition has been a greater disappointment than Adam Everett.
I was not a fan of the Everett signing to begin with. The Twins were one of the worst offensive clubs in the league last year, and they entered the offseason with a need to add players who could help them score more runs. As such, I found little logic in signing one of the worst-hitting regular players of the past several years to fill a position of need. Many made the argument that Everett's reputedly spectacular fielding ability at one of the most important defensive positions on the field was enough to offset his offensive shortcomings and make him a decently valuable player. There's certainly some truth to that, and I made sure to acknowledge Everett's track record as an outstanding defender, but added that "I'm not really sure the Twins are a team that can afford the luxury of a superb defensive shortstop who can't hit worth a lick."
Here we are on August 10, and Everett has fallen far short of even my meager expectations. His hitting has been atrocious, as expected; even after poking a pair of RBI singles in yesterday's game, he is batting .209/.275/.319, which is quite awful even for him. But what has truly been frustrating is his defense. Everett has not been a spectacular defensive presence at shortstop. Frankly, he hasn't even been adequate. His arm is absolutely horrendous. While he has often shown the solid range and slick glove that he was known for in Houston, Everett's total lack of arm strength has prevented him from making more than a handful of impressive plays at shortstop this season, and has frequently caused him to fail to convert on routine plays.
This disappointment was on display over the weekend in Kansas City, in series where Everett started all three games. On Friday night, he committed an error while fielding a ground ball. In Saturday night's game, a wide throw from Everett pulled Justin Morneau off first base, allowing a runner who should have been out to reach. Yesterday, in the most egregious example of the weekend, Everett essentially cost the Twins a sweep-clinching victory when he allowed the tying run to score from third with two outs in the eighth inning because he threw high to first base after fielding a routine grounder that should have gotten the Twins to the ninth inning with a lead.
In fairness, Everett's poor defense has not necessarily been his fault. From the very beginning of the year he has been affected by shoulder problems, and he's spent much of the year on the disabled list as a result of these issues. Yet, as his performance during the past few days has shown, these issues continue to deter his performance and are still preventing him from getting the job done at shortstop. And since he cannot hit nor field adequately, Everett really has no use to this club. The Twins were on the verge of designating him for assignment a couple weeks ago before Alexi Casilla's injury, and that was the right decision. There are other players who can more effectively fill Everett's role.
Say what you will about Hernandez and Monroe, they did serve a purpose for this team. Hernandez ate a lot of innings and gave the team several Quality Starts, while Monroe delivered some huge home runs. When it became clear that the players had worn out their usefulness (well, maybe a little while after that became clear), the team parted ways with both and replaced them with more deserving replacements. The time is now to do the same with Everett.