Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are Twins Rebuilding?

The answer to this question is always yes, during every off-season. One of the folks over at the STRIB points out that six of the players who were in the starting lineup for the playoffs in 2010 are gone two years later. But that 2010 playoff lineup had only 5 players from the 2009 lineup. In other words 4 players were gone the next season, not two years later. And Justin Morneau wasn't in either of those playoff lineups.

One reason the Twins have avoided, until last year, big losing seasons is that they do rebuild each off-season, replacing aging players who were likely to get worse with younger ones who are likely to get better. Letting guys like Guerrier, Rauch and Hardy go after last season made sense as part of that strategy.

What is disturbing about this off-season is that is not really what is happening. Instead the Twins are signing aging players to fill gaps. That was the pattern of the late 1990's, a period of futility. When you see the Twins signing old guys like Willingham and Carroll and letting young players like Slowey, Mijares and even Kubel leave, you wonder if those moves really make sense for the future of the team.

1 comment:

Jim H said...

I have not been particularly excited about these signings and I think you have it about right. The Twins aren't likely to get better signing on a bunch of older players.

In a best case scenario Carroll will end up playing as much 2nd and 3rd as ss because either Nishioka or Dozier takes the position and runs with it. In right field it would be great if Plouffe or Tosoni or the combination forced Willingham into being primarily a DH. Which would mean Doumit was basically a backup catcher with some appearances at DH or 1b.

If those things happen the Twins will be getting better otherwise and the Twins are probably treading water.

I don't know what Ryan expects from his younger players, but he hasn't committed so much to his free agent signings that the younger guys won't have some chance of winning starting jobs.

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