Minnesota Twins Don’t Know When to Fold ‘em
It appears that greed got the best of new Twins GM Bill Smith. Had Terry Ryan been the one to make the deal, I would be a little less worried about the return. I guess we’ll have to take the wait-and-see approach, but it appears that the Twins settled for a weaker offering for Johan Santana.
The Red Sox and the Yankees both offered packages that would give the Twins immediate help. The Red Sox were willing to part ways with Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury. The Twins wanted both of them. The Yankees offered Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes. The Twins misread the value of their cards though in this high stakes game of poker. They failed to realize that in addition to trading key pieces, either team would have to fork over a ton of dough to sign the ace. That lessened the value of Santana. Even the Mets had better offers on the table than the Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra package they settled for. Minnesota had pie in the sky aspirations thinking they could net Jose Reyes for Santana. It was this misjudgement that let the better deals get away. How they could trade away Johan without getting top prospect Fernando Martinez is beyond me.
The last time the Twins dealt a Cy Young winner (Frank Viola) to the Mets it worked out quite well. They landed Rick Aguilera and Kevin Tapani. We’ll see if they can strike gold again. I’m just not confident as this appears to continue the string of blunders made by the Twins. Letting Torii Hunter go without any return is unforgivable. Yes, he priced himself out of their market, but how did they not see it coming? He basically said “get what you can for me”. Yeah, it was nice that they signed Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer to long-term deals, but if they signed them last year they would have saved themselves $20-$30 million. Add that to the $45 million they offered Hunter, and maybe you don’t lose the face of your franchise. Either that or add it to the money you’re pitching to the best pitcher in baseball. Maybe he doesn’t walk. Then there’s the greed that let better deals get away for Johan. Small market teams can’t afford to make these blunders.
Three times in the past year the Twins have held their cards too long. Hunter. Morneau/Cuddyer. Santana. Sometimes you’ve got to know when to fold them and do what’s best for your team. Somebody should put Bill Smith in touch with Kenny Rogers.
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