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Minnesota Twins acquire Phil Nevin (RH-1B) from the Chicago Cubs for a Player To Be Named Later (PTBNL)
Minnesota Twins announce they will call up Scott Baker (RHP), Chris Heintz (RH-C) and Alexi Casilla (2B-SH)
As is often the case, one of these moves is going to get most of the attention, and it's the wrong one. Nevin is a good clubhouse guy who is limited defensively, supposedly can provide a productive right-handed bat as a designated hitter, but is hitting just .214 in the American Lea -- hold it, don't we have one of those already?
So why would the Twins go out and acquire another Rondell White? Well, most importantly, the price was probably right. But having Nevin also means there is a right-handed bat with some pop on the bench, whether White or Nevin is the designated hitter.
That's of value for two reasons. First, while we love the Piranhas, there are times you might want to replace one with someone who can go yard. Secondly, with Luis Castillo hurt, Luis Rodriguez will likely be pressed into duty at third base, and he's really only of use on the left side of the plate. White or Nevin can replace him late in a game for a high value at-bat, and then the Twins will play, well, umm, someone probably. Cuddy, better warm up that glove...
The bigger story is the recall of Scott Baker. A couple of days ago, we detailed why including him in the rotation should inspire some hope, but I'll list one more reason why this is a good idea; the Twins need to sort through some of these guys for 2007. Next year, they're losing Brad Radke, they'll have a four million option on Carlos Silva, and they'll likely be wondering if they can count on Francisco Liriano. That sounds a lot like a recipe for doing something silly, like picking up Silva's option, or committing money toward some Hell(ing) - ish contracts. It would be nice to know if they can count on an in-house option.
Baseball wonks may make a big deal about calling up Chris Heintz, because that will supposedly allow Joe Mauer to DH more, but it's a move that's about two months too late. I'd love to talk about how this allows the Twins to significantly upgrade the DH spot with Mauer because Jason Kubel has been so horrific lately, but Mauer has been equally horrific. Besides, right now, when Mauer isn't catching, he needs to heal.
And finally we get to Alexi Casilla, who I readily admit, I'm WAY to excited about. Casilla hit around .300 from both side of the plate, drew just about as many walks as strikeouts, and stole 50 bases in 60 attempts. OK, it was between High A and Double A ball. What can I say? I'm a sucker for speed freaks.
That's it for this week. We'll see you on Monday.