Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Watching Washington

The Washington Nationals generate a few rumors regarding second basemen yesterday, which might be of interest to Twins fans.

The most interesting is that they Nationals are willing to do a 2-year deal with Orlando Hudson. I would think that anyone interested in Hudson would be willing to do a two-year deal. Certainly the Twins should be willing to do a two-year deal - they may have "candidates" to play second base in 2011, but they sure don't have anyone they need to save a spot for.

The most eyebrow raising news was a tweet from Nationals beat reporter William Ladson, saying that Hudson wants to get paid $9 million for 2010. I bet you do, Orlando. I'd like Jessica Simpson to stop by my place covered in dark chocolate. I think we have about the same chance of that happening. It still feels like Hudson will be available for $10-$12 million over two years. If so, the Twins need to be all over that, but we'll save that 800-word rant about seizing opportunities for later. It sounds like something that needs to start with a Stephen Covey quote. You've been warned.

Finally, Ladson also tweeted that the Nationals had interest in Adam Kennedy. It's been awhile since I've thought about Kennedy. It was November 5th, to be exact. Before that, it was when I was editing the TwinsCentric GM Offseason Handbook. Let's see what we said about him there....

Adam Kennedy
Age: 33 (DOB: 1/10/76) | 2009 Salary: $4M
2009 Stats: .289/.348/.411, 11 HR, 63 RBI
Perhaps best known in Minnesota as that Angels second baseman who randomly went deep three times on the Twins in an ALCS game back in 2002, Kennedy is actually very much the type of player they are likely to target this winter. He's a veteran who generally hits for a good average with a bit of power, he can play both second and third competently, and he has a good reputation around the league. His main drawback is that he bats from the left side. Still, at the right price, he could be a quality addition.
Estimated Contract: 2 years, $9M

Hm, left-handed, huh? I forgot about that. I'm going to hope that this Kennedy thing isn't a ruse by the Nationals to get Hudson to play ball. I'd have no problem with the Nationals signing Kennedy (though I suspect we overestimated the contract he'll get) and leaving Hudson one less suitor in the market.

There is one other thing worth noting about all these Nationals rumors and second baseman: as of a couple of months ago, they didn't need one. They informed Cristian Guzman, who is under contract for $9 million next year, that he was going to be moving from shortstop to second base because he defense has slipped so much. Nothing like a glut of free agents to make a desperate organization reverse course.

But that glut is something that Twins fans should keep in mind. There are still an awful lot of good free agent fits out there, and now we know that the Twins still have some money to spend. So we can call off the attack dogs for now.

But we're watching. And sharpening up those Stephen Covey quotes. Be afraid.

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I'll be talking Twins with Fanatic Jack on his podcast starting around 9:00 tonight (Wednedsday). Jack is likely to rant about the Twins inaction this offseason, while I get to try to delay the inevitable aneurysm he's eventually going to have. I hope you can tune in.

8 comments:

Bloody P said...

"I'd like Jessica Simpson to stop by my place covered in dark chocolate. I think we have about the same chance of that happening."

Classic. Nice post.

And I agree, the Twins are going to (and sort of always have) target veteran players like Hudson and Kennedy who won't be a major investment and won't (hopefully) embarrass themselves at the plate and on the field.

rghrbek said...

It is a good post,

I still think that the Twins can get Lopez, for cheaper than Hudson. He is (4 years?) younger, and not an all start like Hudson.

I would take either, but if we can sign anybody to a two year deal, I vote for Lopez. Especially after his discerning eye last year. Hudson might rate higher as a fielder, but I believe Lopez is better than average.

No Adam Kennedy please, that is way too lefty heavy.

Anonymous said...

Count me as one who believes the Twins will not sign a "name" 2nd or 3rd baseman, but probably will add another SP, whether Washburn, Doug Davis, or some other lesser light and perhaps Crede near spring training. The organization, contrary to what most of us believe, thinks Nick Punto IS the 2nd baseman and despite good arguments that he might be more valuable at third, he will play second base full time in 2010. Valencia will get a shot at third, probably by mid season, leading to the quote from the recent Kelly Theiser propaganda piece, "they are looking for a stopgap at third, given the presence of Valencia." Read: Crede. I love my Twins but they are just NOT going to sign a free agent like Hudson or Lopez, they have sunk their 4 MM into LNP, and although I agree with everyone here that this is a bad use of money, THEY think they need pitching depth far more than upgrades at either second or third. Get used to LNP and a combo of (perhaps) Crede, Harris, Tolbert, and Valencia at 3b in 2010.

Jack Steal said...

John,

I have been ridiculed all off-season on my blog but have said since October that Joe Crede will man the hot corner and Nick Punto will start at second. The Twins have a valid reason for not spending money on a third baseman and his name is Danny Valencia. Bring in Crede to fill the gap and pass the torch to Valencia. He deserves a chance to play because he has excelled at every level through the minors. I still would prefer a trade for Kevin Kouzmanoff but that seems unlikely.

Signing Punto to a two-year $8.5 million deal in 2008 was a terrible move by GM Bill Smith. They are stuck with his contract and are not going to bring in someone else. Free agents Orlando Hudson and Felipe Lopez would both be great upgrades at second base but both are too expensive for the Twins.

Adding pitcher Jarrod Washburn would be a nice move to shore up the rotation but with Boras as his agent, he might be deemed too expensive as well. It is depressing to be a Twins fan right now because they have a golden opportunity to improve with a deep market and they have done nothing.

John said...

Gotta say, I don't have any insight that the Twins feel any differently than what is described above. It just seems like the 2B market is too good to ignore.

I'll also say I wouldn't mind have Crede at 3B again.

Jack Steal said...

I want Kevin Kouzmanoff!!!!!!!!

rghrbek said...

Jack,

You assessment is right on. My wish list is just that. I don't have the confidence in the FO, that they will push the payroll any higher.

Although one has to wonder. Joe Joe is watching what they are doing right? And he does want to see that moves are being made to cement a winner right? It's been documented.

That makes this all the more interesting, if they add a joe crede, along with hardy, is that enough in his eyes? I wouldn't think so.

I do disagree that Washburn, at any price over a mil, is not enough of an upgrade over Duensing and others. Especially with our outfield/unknown play of the ball park dimensions, and his propensity for fly balls.

TT said...

Punto's OBP is above average for the league and he plays all three infield positions well. At third base his bat is a liability, but at second he is just fine. If Casilla can claim the job from him, great.