Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Setting Sights at Second

I was mistaken in yesterday's post when I posited that the deadline to offer arbitration to free agent eligible players fell on Monday night; it actually fell last night. As expected, the Twins did indeed offer arbitration to Type B free agent Carl Pavano, so now Pavano will have the opportunity to either except and return to the Twins on a one-year deal (likely worth around $7 million) or hit the open market. Should he decline arbitration and sign elsewhere, Pavano would net the Twins a supplemental pick in next June's draft. Either outcome is a fairly beneficial one for the Twins, and as such Bill Smith's move to acquire Pavano in August is looking like a savvy one.

Perhaps the more interesting development from yesterday's deadline, though, is that neither Placido Polanco nor Orlando Hudson were offered arbitration by their respective clubs. Both Polanco and Hudson qualified as Type A free agents, but with the Tigers and Dodgers electing not to offer arbitration, signing them will not cost a draft pick. These are both players that the Twins should be extremely interested in; they're veteran second basemen whose offensive skills make them well suited to bat second and who are very competent in the field. My offseason blueprint suggested that the Twins tab Polanco, but I'd have absolutely no problem with Hudson, who I pushed hard for last offseason.

The Twins have been awfully quiet since they traded for J.J. Hardy just after the conclusion of the World Series, but with the Winter Meetings fast approaching the time has come for Bill Smith and Co. to once again ratchet up their offseason dealings. Honing in on Polanco and Hudson should be among their very highest priorities.

12 comments:

lookatthosetwins said...

Agreed. If nothing else, it just widens the options at 2b. I just can't see any reason why we can't get a productive 2b at a reasonable price this year.

Beau said...

Who are the Twins competing with for these two players? Just a few teams or half the league?

Anonymous said...

any thoughts on felipe lopez?

Anonymous said...

I live in Milwaukee and am of course a Twins fan, I got to watch Lopez for half a season here and he always put together quality at bats and play decent 2b he would be a perfect 2 hitter. I think he would be a great pickup and would come for a reasonable price and he is younger than both other options.

Nick N. said...

Who are the Twins competing with for these two players? Just a few teams or half the league?

There are a number of teams in the market for a second baseman. But there are a lot of options available, even outside of those mentioned in this article.

any thoughts on felipe lopez?

Like him a lot. He'd probably be my next choice after Hudson/Polanco. He's the youngest of the group, though, so he could demand a lengthier deal.

Anonymous said...

"He's the youngest of the group, though, so he could demand a lengthier deal."

He is the youngest of the group and may demand the lengthiest contract, but at a significantly lower price than Hudson/Polanco, both of whom I can see around $10 million a year. That said, I would rather have O-Hud/Polanco on the Twins than Lopez, but Lopez is not a bad fall back option!

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on Alberto Callapso and what it would take to pry him from the Royals?

Nick N. said...

I like Callaspo; young, cheap, solid bat and decent enough glove. I think the Twins would be better off grabbing one of the FA options than giving up a bunch of talent to acquire him, though.

Eric Johnson said...

Seems like it might be pretty difficult to get Polanco, especially now that he hasn't been offered arbitration. Teams will be more willing to give bigger money to him since they don't have to give up a draft pick.

MLB Trade Rumors mentioned the Phillies, Red Sox, and Astros as potential suitors today.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/red-sox-interested-in-placido-polanco.html

SotaFan said...

Polanco was signed by the Phillies for 6mil per for 3yrs. I would be happy if the twins were to give Lopez a similar contract. It seems that is what market value is this year for a 34yr old 2B oh 3B, sorry. I feel if the FO were to offer Lopez a 16 mil 4 year deal and a club option for the 5th at 5.5mil it could land him.

What are everyone's thoughts on Sheets? Is he someone the FO will target? I would like to see him as the #2 nest year.

Bryz said...

As much as I would like to see Ben Sheets, I think he wants to sign with the Texas Rangers. At least that's how he felt last offseason.

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