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.