Friday, January 02, 2009

Swwwwing and a Miss

I've been pretty passive about the Twins' lack of activity this season, seeing few legitimate options that were worth getting excited about. One player that I really got behind was Mark DeRosa, an infielder from the Cubs who posted very solid numbers last year and would have represented a cheap one-year fix at third base. In analyzing DeRosa a couple weeks ago, I said that "if the Cubs' asking price is reasonable," acquiring him "makes all the sense in the world."

Unfortunately, it wasn't the Twins who figured that out, but instead their division rivals. The Indians Wednesday sent three marginal pitching prospects to Chicago in return for DeRosa, who immediately fills a hole in their infield. This development is disappointing, to say the least. Not only did the Twins fail to make a move in spite of the fact that the Cubs clearly weren't asking for a whole lot in return, but they let perhaps the most dangerous team in the division going into the '09 season outbid them and acquire a player who most certainly improves their club.

I've gone out of my way to go easy on Bill Smith, but even I'm starting to lose patience. As bad as his trades and free agent signings from last winter are looking, and as stunning as his inability to upgrade the bullpen over the course of the 2008 season was, and now as pathetic as his display on the DeRosa bidding war (if we can even call it that -- it certainly doesn't seem like the Twins made much of an effort here) has been, Smith is running out of slack.

I wish you all the best as you turn your calendars from 2008 to 2009. The Twins' new year certainly hasn't gotten off to a very promising start.

9 comments:

SethSpeaks said...

I don't know... I think we all want "Something" to happen. But how good is Mark DeRosa. He's had one impact year, and been a solid big leaguer for maybe 3-4 years. HE's old. I feel that if Brendan Harris got the number of at bats as DeRosa would get, he'd be basically the same player.

I think that was a great trade for Cleveland as they will likely play him at 2B, moving Cabrera to SS and Peralta to 3B. I just don't think it would have been a great trade for the Twins.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Seth. Spare us the outrage. Plus we have no way of knowing what the Cubs wanted from us. Maybe their price was too high, they went to the Indians and the Cubs didn't give us a chance to match. There's really no way of knowing.

Nick N. said...

I don't know... I think we all want "Something" to happen. But how good is Mark DeRosa.

I think you'd have a hard time making a case that my disappointment comes out of a desperation for "Something" to happen. I have been opposed to almost every proposed trade and free agent signing that has popped up during this offseason. DeRosa was a great fit.

He's had one impact year, and been a solid big leaguer for maybe 3-4 years. HE's old. I feel that if Brendan Harris got the number of at bats as DeRosa would get, he'd be basically the same player.

But those 3-4 years in which he's been solid have been his most recent 3-4, and 34 is not so old that you'd expect him to drop off the charts.

Also, saying Harris would be "basically the same player" over a similar number of at-bats is pretty egregious. When has Harris given any indication that he could ever come close to a .370 OBP, which DeRosa has posted for two straight years now? When has he ever shown any type of legitimate power like DeRosa showed last year?

DeRosa presented a very clear upgrade for this club, and Bill Smith let himself be outbid by a division opponent that gave up very little value to get him. In my mind, this situation represents the very definition of poor management.

sploorp said...

I don't know what you see in the guy. The 20 homers was most likely a fluke. In the dome, he would be lucky to hit the 10 he hit in previous years - much less 20. The rest of the numbers seem very similar to what we already have now. I just don't see the upgrade.

In my mind, the bigger loss was letting Nelson go to the Rays for 1.3 million.

Hopefully, we'll start hearing some news again this week. All this silence from the front office is just killing me.

Nick N. said...

The rest of the numbers seem very similar to what we already have now. I just don't see the upgrade.

He's OBP'd at a .370 clip for two straight years. He'd have been a perfect fit in the two-hole between Span and Mauer. And even if some of his homers turn into doubles, he's still got solid power for an infielder.

sploorp said...

Homers don't turn into doubles when they fall short - they are usually caught for outs.

The team doesn't need walks, it needs a solid right handed bat to protect Morneau in the line up with. If a player can't do that, then there is no reason to pursue them no matter how cheap they wind up going for.

The Cubs would have probably been better off hanging onto DeRosa. He can play a lot of positions and filled in nicely last year when a couple of their players got hurt. If they get Bradley, they're probably going to regret giving him up.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. There is also over a month until spring training and nearly four months until opening day. There is still time for something to materialize.

Anonymous said...

The slack on Bill Smith is tightening quickly, but i want to see onemore year of AAA baseball before i make an assumption like that.

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