Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cuddyer vs. Nathan: Who's Expendable?

The Twins' increased budget in the upcoming 2010 season has been a popular topic of conversation in many circles, and this blog has been no exception. But, as reports leak out that appealing free agents such as Orlando Hudson are seeking multi-year deals, it is pertinent to look ahead at how the team's payroll will shape up in 2011.

Travis Aune of the blog Travis Talks had a nice post earlier in the week examining this very subject. Travis lists out projected salary commitments for the 2011 season, and while he had to employ some guesswork (Joe Mauer's salary, various arbitration figures), his estimates seem reasonable. Even accounting for the subtracted salaries of Nick Punto, Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Carl Pavano, who will be free agents, Travis arrives at an estimated total of $91 in commitments to 18 players. Depending on how high you believe the club's overall payroll will go next year (and Travis' estimate of $100 million seems fair), this doesn't leave a whole lot of money to fill the remaining spots on the 25-man roster.

This is most likely the reason the Twins have shied away from aggressively pursuing players like Hudson and Adrian Beltre, who clearly fit a need but are hesitant to settle for a one-year deal. The fact that the Twins were apparently willing to offer $5 million to Jarrod Washburn for this year suggests that Bill Smith is still willing to spend a bit more on the 2010 roster but is wary of the increase in commitments the following year.

If the Twins want to have a bit of financial flexibility to address holes in 2011 with something other than cheap rookies, they may need to dump salary in order to clear out some space. And as we look at the team's current contracts, there are two very obvious candidates for such a move: Michael Cuddyer and Joe Nathan, who will both be in the final guaranteed year of their lucrative contracts.

Cuddyer, whose '11 option was activated just after the conclusion of this past season, is scheduled to make $10.5M next year. And Nathan, who will be entering the final guaranteed year in his deal (though his does possess a $12.5M club option for 2012 with a $2 million buyout), will make $11.25M. Clearing either of those commitments from the books would create a significant amount of space to address other areas.

So now we have to ask ourselves: if it came down to it, which guy would we rather see go? I like both Cuddyer and Nathan and would prefer to have them both on the team, but if we're being realistic about finances there's no question that dealing one of them would be a logical move, particularly if they perform well this year and maintain solid trade value.

There are a number of considerations to weigh as we contemplate this decision. Which player is more valuable to the team, both on the field and off it? Which can be more easily replaced? Which will bring back more in a trade?

There really aren't any easy answers to these questions and opinions are sure to differ. As far as value, the Win Probability Added (WPA) metric suggests that Nathan has been worth an average of about 3.6 wins per season to the Twins over the past three years, whereas Cuddyer rings in at an average of 0.48 wins per season -- which was his exact figure last year. I'll note that I think WPA tends to exaggerate the value of closers, but that's a substantial gap nevertheless. Meanwhile, Wins Above Replacement pegs Nathan as having been worth 6.2 total wins over the last three years; Cuddyer 4.3. It's also worth noting that Nathan has shown a far greater ability to stay healthy.

It's difficult to quantify Cuddyer's value to the lineup overall as a threatening right-handed power hitter who can slot between Mauer and Justin Morneau, but at the same time it's difficult to quantify Nathan's value as a steady and dominant high-leverage reliever in a bullpen that has experienced its fair share of turnover and turmoil over the years.

Who's more replaceable? That question is even tougher than the last. The Twins have shown great aptitude with taking quality relievers and turning them into all-star closers over the years -- with Nathan and Eddie Guardado serving as prime examples -- but no one currently on the team looks like anything close to a slam-drunk replacement. Meanwhile, it isn't easy to find prime-aged right-handed hitters who can belt 30 homers on the cheap, although -- despite my pal Twins Geek's allusions to the contrary -- players of Cuddyer's ilk (weak defensive corner outfielders who can hit for power) are generally available at a reasonable cost. Marlon Byrd and Jack Cust are but two examples who have signed on the cheap already this offseason.

As far as trade value is concerned, that's really too sticky a topic for me to even dive into right now. Considering their price tags, only contending teams are likely to show interest in players like Nathan and Cuddyer, so the value of these two players on the trade market will likely be dictated by how many contending teams have needs at the positions they play. And again, much depends on how both players perform this year.

Cuddyer and Nathan were both key contributors to the Twins' past two AL Central title runs and are both well-liked core players. Yet, letting one of the two go after this season (or perhaps even during it, depending on the circumstances) is is an option that should at least be sitting in the back of our minds. Because even with the payroll boost that has come along with the new stadium, the Twins are headed for a tight budget in 2011 and could be in trouble if more holes emerge than the ones they've currently got.

43 comments:

Bryz said...

I have to feel that Nathan would be more easily replaceable. My top pick would be Pat Neshek, partially because he's currently on the roster and also because he has shown that he can be a dominant reliever. Unfortunately, the Twins need to see how he performs after returning from surgery before they can even consider him as Nathan's replacement.

I saw your comment on Twins Geek about the free agents and how they stack up versus Cuddyer. I wouldn't mind Jack Cust, but I'd prefer him as a DH and I am not interested in shifting Kubel to full-time OF. Marlon Byrd wouldn't be too bad, but I'd be a bit wary considering that he called The Ballpark in Arlington his home for the past 3 years.*

* I do see that in your comment on Twins Geek, you included OPS+ for Byrd, which was only 1 point different from Cuddyer's. This adjusts for park effects, so maybe my point above should be nullified.

This really is a tough decision to make. I could see the Twins saying neither is expendable, and we'll end up seeing both of them play out their current contracts as Twins.

sean said...

Marlon Byrd is anything but weak defensively. Overall value is the same as Cuddyer though.

TT said...

The premise is ridiculous. The Twins are not going to get rid of either one. Playroll flexibility is just not that big a deal.

Beth said...

Jesse Crain had been a closer in the minors. Depending on how this year goes for him, he's another option for closer in 2011. But, like Neshek, we need to see him pitch again to see how well he's recovered.

TKC said...

Explain to me again why we can't sign someone to a multi-year deal. If we could trade Nathan or Cuddyer before the end of their contracts why couldn't we do that with someone we sign this year?

This isn't an either or situation, it could be both. The Twins should look at each player individually. The key factors being are there replacements available and would we be able to resign these players. Do you see the Twins signing Nathan to another long-term deal when he's 36?

John said...

I'm afraid you could be right about the Twins not being willing to do a 2-year deal with OHud, even if it's just for $5M/year. If so, that is short-sighted thinking. The problem is still going to be there next year. They're going to need to spend money on it one way or the other. Best to buy a good player while the market is favorable.

Anonymous said...

You never actually answered your own question of who's expendable. You just discussed different ways to look at the situation, but never gave your opinion.

rghrbek said...

To me the answer is Cuddy, as it pertains to the Twins, for wins.

The problem is, they have to have value in 2010 (if we are out of it) or in the off season of 2011.

I strongly feel that cuddy will not be viewed with the type of value, anywhere near what he is getting paid, by other teams for a trade.

Heck, we have no idea if he will stay healthy this year.

Nathan on the other hand should still have value, as he has been a consistent performer over the years, unlike cuddy.

Although I, and maybe the Twins would rather see cuddy go, I think the answer is Nathan, simply cause I think he will still have value, whereas I am confident that cuddy will not with his inflated salary.

Ben said...

I think it depends on how other players do this year. Does Delmon take a step forward? Does anyone in the bullpen dominate? Then it depends on whether anyone in the minors demonstrates that they're ready for a chance and what is available in return in the trade. I'd also watch the health of Kubel and Morneau before I'd think of trading Cuddyer.

Really though, I think both play out their contracts with the Twins.

Neil said...

I'm pretty sure it depends on how Nathan does this year. as hes struggled at times last year. Could be nothing, but he could be going downhill as well. Time will tell I guess...

Nick N. said...

The premise is ridiculous. The Twins are not going to get rid of either one. Playroll flexibility is just not that big a deal.

Another great, thoughtful comment from TT. Thanks for helping advance the conversation with this well-supported statement, sir. I'm in your debt.

Jesse Crain had been a closer in the minors. Depending on how this year goes for him, he's another option for closer in 2011.

He also struck out tons of hitters in the minors, whereas his K-rate has dropped off a cliff in the majors. Crain's just too hot-and-cold for me to trust him in the closer role.

Explain to me again why we can't sign someone to a multi-year deal. If we could trade Nathan or Cuddyer before the end of their contracts why couldn't we do that with someone we sign this year?

A team can't really just sign someone to a multi-year deal with the plan of trading them after one year. Money has to be budgeted to pay off the entire contract and I don't think the Twins have that money budgeted right now.

This isn't an either or situation, it could be both.

I find it more than a little unlikely that the Twins would pawn off two major players one year after opening their new stadium. Just looks like a cheap team making a salary dump. I think they could sell fans on the notion that trading one of them would open up some money to address other areas.

You never actually answered your own question of who's expendable. You just discussed different ways to look at the situation, but never gave your opinion.

That was kind of the point. I just wanted to put the information out there and allow people to make their own decisions. But for the record, I'd probably lean toward trading Cuddyer over Nathan. I think the Twins would be much more likely to move Nathan.

CA said...

It might depend on the market situation after the 2010 season. At the moment, teams can probably find reasonable replacements for a player like Cuddyer for a lot less money than his contract calls for. Adam LaRoche plays a different position, so he might not be directly comparable, but he has similar offensive skills and just signed for $5 million. Cuddy will make double that amount in 2011. The Twins might not be able to move Cuddyer unless they eat a portion of his salary AND are able to find another outfielder (which might also involve spending some money, given the lack of MLB-ready outfield depth in the organization), so the payroll benefit could be pretty minimal.

On the other hand, Nathan would probably be highly valued by other teams despite his salary, and the Twins might get some decent value back in a trade. So, unless there's a reciprocal shift in the market next year, I'd expect Nathan to be the more likely to wind up as trade bait. 'Course, there are any number of things that could happen to change that.

TT said...

"Thanks for helping advance the conversation"

Lets be clear, my point was that there is no conversation worth having.

"I find it more than a little unlikely that the Twins would pawn off two major players one year after opening their new stadium."

But not at all unlikely that they would "pawn off" one of them?

You seem pretty upset when somebody dismisses your idea, but how was my response any different than yours?

The Twins are unlikely to move either Cuddyer or Nathan until they have someone who shows they are ready to take their jobs away. That does not seem very likely this year.

Mike C said...

Well, personally I think Cuddy is more expendable given that hitters like him are a dime a dozen, so to speak. He's a good solid hitter, questionable in the field. I think the Twins could find someone cheaper with stats in the same ballpark. Though, cuddy is a "club house" guy as well, not that chemistry isn't important but it's sometimes overstate.

Nathan on the other hand is more of a rare player, a dominant closer. Granted he looked a lot less dominant at times last year than he should have but still one of the best in the league. However, he's not a young buck anymore either and you have to worry if we are seeing the beginning of his decline or just a blip on the radar. If they think he'll still be a dominant starter for some time to come, then he's much harder to replace but probably also has more trade value than Cuddy does.

Doofus said...

Why not tear up the last year of the contract and renegotiate a long term deal for each of them with a lower base in 2011 and getting bigger each year after that? Pay both players 1 to 2 million less than they are getting in 2011 and add 2 years to their contract. problem solved if they go for it. These are the 2 players that would do something like that if they can remain competitive.

Nick N. said...

Lets be clear, my point was that there is no conversation worth having.

Judging by the fact that this topic has sprouted some nice conversation here as well as Twinkie Town and various other locations, I suspect you're pretty much alone in that opinion. Whether you agree with it or not, there's always some sense in talking about whether it's wise to retain mid-30s players in the final years of their contracts who are making a significant amount of money while the team is in a budget crunch.

And even if you think it's not worth talking about, why don't you bring something meaningful to the discourse rather than reverting to your usual negative old grouch persona?

The Twins are unlikely to move either Cuddyer or Nathan until they have someone who shows they are ready to take their jobs away.

Who was ready to take away Santana's and Hunter's jobs? The Twins, like all middle/small-market clubs, have a tendency to unload players when their contracts become a burden or when there's an opportunity to fill their role with less expensive (sometimes less effective) options. It's pretty ridiculous to say that no one -- from either this organization or another -- will emerge as a less expensive option to replace one of these two players a year from now. At the outset of the 2003 season, who would have guessed that Joe Nathan would be replacing Eddie Guardado a year later?

Why not tear up the last year of the contract and renegotiate a long term deal for each of them with a lower base in 2011 and getting bigger each year after that? Pay both players 1 to 2 million less than they are getting in 2011 and add 2 years to their contract. problem solved if they go for it.

Extending Cuddyer right now would make very little sense, since outfield is easily the Twins' greatest minor-league strength and some of their top prospects will hopefully be arriving in the majors shortly after his contract expires. Nathan is already 35 so you have to have some reservations about his age, though plenty of closers have remained effective into their 40s so I think that concern might be a little overblown.

Bryz said...

Why not tear up the last year of the contract and renegotiate a long term deal for each of them with a lower base in 2011 and getting bigger each year after that?

Additionally, considering that Cuddyer is already past 30 years old, it would be a concern to me if the Twins offered him another long-term contract, especially one that increases in salary as he gets older. If anything, I say let him play out his current contract, then offer him a 2-3 year deal depending on his performance from 2010 and 2011. He's had a lot of injuries, so the Twins don't want to get stuck paying another $8+ million per year for a guy on the disabled list.

Mike C said...

So who do they have to replace Nathan with right now?

Give Slama a shot?

Ben said...

So who do they have to replace Nathan with right now?

Give Slama a shot?


In-house right now I think they'd do closer by committee with Crain, Rauch, and Gurrier; and maybe Liriano or Neshek could pitch themselves into that role. But I don't think they'd be happy starting the season with that solution. I doubt they'd ask a minor leaguer to step into that role either.

Nick N. said...

So who do they have to replace Nathan with right now?

Give Slama a shot?


There are no real good candidates right now, which is why Nathan isn't going anywhere at the moment. Things might look different at season's end though, depending on how Slama/Delaney/Burnett perform and how Neshek looks. Also, keep an eye on 2009 draftee Billy Bullock -- he could be a fast riser.

Luke in Mpls said...

Here's my beef with the premise that it's particularly logical for the Twins to trade Cuddyer or Nathan.

First, the promise of employing them is worth either more or less than their remaining salaries. It doesn't matter which. (I think with Cuddyer a little less, with Nathan, a little more, but whatever).

Second, while good players like Cuddyer and Nathan might be worth more to contenders than non-contenders, both the Twins and whoever they'd trade with would likely be contenders. In other words, both teams will value the players similarly.

And so, you can trade, say, Nathan for a few prospects (which will compensate for the excess value he's likely to provide over the 11.25 owed him in his contract--maybe, I don't know, $2 million worth), but then you have:

Prospects worth 2 million,
$11.25 million cash,
and a Joe-Nathan-sized hole.

Now, you can spend the 11.25 to fill the hole or improve the team elsewhere, but you're unlikely to spend that amount and get more than Nathan-level value (since we started with the premise that he's worth $2 million more than the 11.25 he's owed)

You only really come out ahead doing this if you have a highly paid player who's particularly and cheaply replacable by the team (i.e., more replacable than the player would be for the teams with whom the Twins would be trading). Unless the Twins have some excess of outfield or bullpen talent I don't know about, I don't think either Cuddyer or Nathan fits that category for 2011.

Keep both.

TT said...

"here's always some sense in talking about whether it's wise to retain mid-30s players in the final years of their contracts "

So that statement has nothing to do with reality. Cuddyer is 30, signed through 2011 and has two years left on his four year contract. The Twins just made the decision too pick up his option in November. Nathan is signed through 2012 including club options, three years left on a five year contract.

Decisions are going to have to be made on Punto, Kubel, Guerrier and Rauch among others before anyone is going to worry about Cuddyer and Nathan. At least lets hope so. Because if the Twins are even considering any of the suggestions here its going to be because the rest of the roster is a mess and they are forced to rebuild.

Nick N. said...

Because if the Twins are even considering any of the suggestions here its going to be because the rest of the roster is a mess and they are forced to rebuild.

What "suggestions" are you referring to? I merely posed a question, I haven't suggested anything.

Now, you can spend the 11.25 to fill the hole or improve the team elsewhere, but you're unlikely to spend that amount and get more than Nathan-level value (since we started with the premise that he's worth $2 million more than the 11.25 he's owed)

Well, now that's up for debate. Nathan is scheduled to make $24 million over the next two years to pitch maybe 130 innings. Is he worth that? If that money could be used to bring in multiple above-average every day players, are you really hurting yourself overall? Particularly if someone like Slama has a Neshek-type year, or if Neshek himself has one?

Again, I'm not a proponent of trading Nathan -- certainly not any time soon. But the issue isn't as black-and-white as some people are making it out to be.

Anonymous said...

Let's get rid of that Morneau guy instead. we played a lot better last year when he was out hurt. That frees up money to keep both Cuddyer and Nathan.

RyanConway86 said...

Losing either one of these guys would not be easy. Cuddy bounced back from an injury plagued hard luck season last year, and proved how dangerous he is with the lumber. #5 had an amazing September as well and was one of the main reasons the Twins won yet another central division title. I am guessing Cuddy will have a stand out 2010 and maybe come close to an All Star game. From what I understand he is an all around good guy off the field as well. I am just a fan so I don’t know the guy personally, but from what I hear he is a great clubhouse guy, and dose incredible work off the diamond. I have heard a lot of people say they think Joe Nathan is expendable. I completely disagree with this statement. The guy is lights out. They might as well start sweeping up the seeds off the dugout floor when he comes in. Right now I don’t think the Twins have anybody in their bullpen that could fill his shoes. Neshak is coming off an elbow surgery that has destroyed a lot of pitching careers. Don’t get me wrong I am rooting for the guy but at the same time look what that surgery did to Francisco. Will he be able to use his crazy delivery effectively again? I just think he is too big a liability to give the closer job to now or I hate to say it, because I like the guy, ever. The only other guy we have now that I would consider giving the job to is Matty G, but let’s face it he is not Joe Nathan. I would HATE to lose either guy, but right now I think Joe Nathan is irreplaceable, sorry Cuddy.

Pseudofool said...

I'm inclined to agree with the response of neither. As there are no discernible replacements for either one in our minor league system. Though, that could change in a season, with say the emergence of Parmelee, Benson, Slama or Neshek.

In a pinch, I'd trade Nathan, because he's older and I'm generally cynical of the value of elite closers.

I also think Nick is really undervaluing the demand Cuddyer would have as an free agent.

Mike C said...

Given that we agree there is no good replacement for Nathan, in house, and I think unless we get a much better trade offer than I expect he's not going to be traded either.

However, that could all change later in the season if the Twins are not in contention for the playoffs. They may decide to ship him out to a contender when his value might be higher and they could try out Liriano or one of the possibly good minor league guys.

I think Cuddy is more likely to be traded but still unlikely. He put up some good numbers last year and he's well liked by Gardy and the front office, also has a pretty good sized fan following for player of his caliber. I think sometimes the Twins value those factors too much but then in this case I'm not sure they'd get equal or better back in a trade anyway.

Luke in Mpls said...

"Well, now that's up for debate. Nathan is scheduled to make $24 million over the next two years to pitch maybe 130 innings. Is he worth that? If that money could be used to bring in multiple above-average every day players, are you really hurting yourself overall? Particularly if someone like Slama has a Neshek-type year, or if Neshek himself has one?"

(sorry, i don't know how to do the html tags to quote)

If Nathan's not worth what he'll be paid by the Twins, then you couldn't trade him for prospects--in fact, you'd have to take on some of his salary. This is true unless some other team values him much higher than the Twins do, and I just don't see any reason why that would be the case.

Even if you replace him with Neshek, or whoever, you then have to replace Neshek with someone, and etc. down through the bullpen. So you're not losing just the difference between Nathan and Neshek, you're losing that PLUS the difference between Neshek and whoever takes his place in setup, plus the difference between that guy and whoever takes that guy's place, etc., down through the bullpen.

In other words, even if the Twins had a reliever as good as Nathan--and I don't think they do--that still doesn't mean that Nathan's particularly "replaceable" by the Twins.

Nick N. said...

I also think Nick is really undervaluing the demand Cuddyer would have as an free agent.

What have I said to indicate this?

In other words, even if the Twins had a reliever as good as Nathan--and I don't think they do--that still doesn't mean that Nathan's particularly "replaceable" by the Twins.

Hey, you're preaching to the choir. I agree completely. All I'm saying is that there are large-market teams out there who are better-equipped to pay a closer $12M than the Twins are.

Anonymous said...

Cuddyer has no trade value whatsoever- guys like him are a dime a dozen at the trade deadline, and he costs a gazillion dimes. Closers can and are often traded at the deadline.

Joseph said...

I definitely think Cuddyer could be expendable with the possible emergence and call up of Ben Revere. You have to figure he will spend all of 2010 in AA but could be called up sometime in 2011. As for Nathan it depends on how is 2010 goes. If he is still one of the top 2 or 3 closers in the game I do not see how you can just give that up. Also depends on the health of Pat Neshek and reliability in minor league guys such as Slama, Delany and Burnett.

socaltwinsfan said...

So, you're worried about replacing a utility infielder, three middle relievers and a below-average starter and one more player (a bench player perhaps?) with $9 M? Well, Slama and Delaney should replace two middle relievers easily for the minimum leaving $8M for four spots. I'm sure the Twins can find a utility guy in the minors for another minimum spot (Tolleson?). Shouldn't Swarzak or Manship be ready to step in at fifth starter by then? Suddenly, you have $7M for a middle reliever and one more player.
Even if you believe one of those would need to be a starting second or third baseman, you could spend $5-6M on that position and have $1-2M for a middle reliever. And this is assuming the $100M cap. I think $105-110M would be easily doable, especially if the economy is improving by then.

Pseudofool said...

What have I said to indicate this? Comparing Cuddy to Byrd and Cust certainly goes a long way to devaluing his impact as an FA, I think.

Bryz said...

Surprised no one complained about this...

Let's get rid of that Morneau guy instead. we played a lot better last year when he was out hurt. That frees up money to keep both Cuddyer and Nathan.

So instead, the Twins should count on Cuddyer, Kubel, and Mauer on having seasons equal to what they had in 2009? Isn't that how they got in trouble with the rotation last year as well, by counting on everyone pitching as well as they did in 2008?

Plus, this suggestion means the Twins have Kubel in the outfield and Cuddyer at first base again. Kubel and Cuddyer are probably comparable defensively, and who knows what Cuddyer's true defensive value at first is, but removing Morneau would likely worsen the team's offense while keeping their defense stationary (which by the way, was below-average last year).

Nick N. said...

Surprised no one complained about this...

I guess I kind of just assumed he was being sarcastic.

Comparing Cuddy to Byrd and Cust certainly goes a long way to devaluing his impact as an FA, I think.

People are misconstruing this point. I'm not saying that the Twins will go out and find a guy for a couple million dollars that will fully replace Cuddyer's 2009 production. The point is that there are guys like those two and Xavier Nady and Jermaine Dye and Vladimir Guerrero are out there as short-term replacement options at a much lesser cost. Whether you're willing to deal with an incremental downgrade in right field in order to address clear holes on the roster, like 2B and 3B, is the chief determinant as to whether you think Cuddyer is expendable.

So, you're worried about replacing a utility infielder, three middle relievers and a below-average starter and one more player (a bench player perhaps?) with $9 M?

You're understating the issue. The Twins have no clear candidates to fill second base or third base next year and there are going to be several holes opening up in the bullpen. It'd be nice if these could all be filled internally, and certainly there are some candidates to do so (like Valencia, Slama and Delaney) but it's also very possible some or none of those guys will be ready next year.

Pulverized Concepts said...

Statistically, Nathan may have had a good year but especially in the latter stages of the season he did what closers can never do, pitch behind in the count. All the other teams are aware of this, but if Nathan starts out the season firing strikes it might be a good idea to move him. Nobody is irreplaceable, if he were injured someone else would have to take on his role. The Tigers just signed Joel Zumaya to a cheap contract, talk to them about Nathan, they might be able to afford him.

armyman2007 said...

I would have to say that Cuddy would the best choice for an exit. As much as I like Cuddyer,if we trade him now, we can get something of value for him.

Cuddyer would be worth more than people think, simply because of the last few weeks of the season. He had one of his statistical best years in 09' and with the mentality of GM's around the league, would be good enough to trade everything but the kitchen sink for him!

If I had to choose it would be be Nathan but the market for closers in free agency might make it difficult to get much in return. Plus, the Twins will probably feel that we could afford to lose Cuddy since we do have Young, Kubel and Span. Plus a market full of suitable DH's to that spot from Kubel. I hope we can keep them both but if not, this is how I see it turning it out.

kab21 said...

I'm curious about what the positions are for the remaining seven players (91M for 18 players correct?) that the Twins need to free up money for.

Is it something like UT IF'er, 4th OF'er, 2nd UT IF'er, backup C, 2B (there isn't a real good in house replacement), 3B (Valencia should be here by 2011) and a middle reliever?

Is there any reason to be trading (possibly dumping considering their contracts and how tight money is around the MLB)core players to free up money for a bunch of backups (and a 2B)?

Anonymous said...

this Nick guy is an absolute idiot. every blog that he is posting is completely off. Its funny how he thinks he knows stuff about baseball, but in actuality he doesn't. You need to keep cuddyer, cause he is a right handed bat that the team has been desperately searching for over the past couple seasons. If you let him go the Twins are in the exact same situation they have been in then. What are this Nick guys crudentials. You just a fan who thinks he knows?

Jesse said...

Wow. Harsh from anonymous, who's clearly never read Nick before. Sounds like somebody needs a nap.

Nick N. said...

I found it pretty humorous.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that a blog designed for Twins Fans can have such a sellout approach. Reality is a B@#&H. Listen I get a laugh how comments such as "Cuddy is an average defensive outfielder" really? He has only lead the American League in assists for Right Fielders. He has a great presence for base running for scoring opportunities not to mention pretty good speed considering his size and muscular build. The twins have never been an organization that spends any amount of monies on a large scale for any reason. Just look back on recent history. Does the name Tori Hunter ring a bell. Probably the best all around outfielder in the game and not to mention his ability to get the timely hit when needed. They will never get it right on either side of the issue. Leave your home grown product alone for once since Kirby and let Cuddy play out his contract in Minnesota.

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