July 6, 2003
While Johan was being liberated and Joe Mays was being taken out back and shot, the Twins were apparently working the phones in an effort to make a trade or two.
"The Twins have inquired about the availability of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Shannon Stewart, whom they tried to trade for in 2001, according to an American League source."
I've got to say, I am more than a little confused by this, considering a corner outfielder is just about the last thing the Minnesota Twins need.
Shannon Stewart is a very good player and has been for quite a while. He'd be a solid addition to any ballclub, including the Twins. At the same time, here are his stats, compared to a couple of current Twins outfielders:
AVG OBP SLG EqA AVG OBP SLG EqA
Stewart .310 .364 .469 .289 Stewart .303 .371 .442 .292
Kielty .257 .371 .440 .292 Kielty .291 .405 .484 .312
Mohr .278 .335 .441 .274 Mohr .269 .325 .441 .265
If that is an upgrade (and I don't think it is, seeing as though Kielty has a higher EqA this year and last), is it really a big enough one that it is worth doing? Not to mention that Stewart is 29 years old and Kielty and Mohr are 26 and 27. Plus, Stewart makes $6.2 million this year, while Bobby Kielty and Dustan Mohr combine to make about $650,000. And, finally, the Twins would almost certainly have to give up a pretty good prospect (or two) to get Stewart.
Oh, and they have this guy named Michael Cuddyer down in Triple-A that may have something to say about a full-time corner-outfield spot at some point. And he's got this teammate named Michael Restovich and there's this Lew Ford guy...well, you get the point.
The offense is not the problem boys. Since a bad first month, they are averaging over 5 runs per game, which is pretty damn good. Now that Mays is out and Santana is in, hopefully one of the five rotation spots will be "fixed." That still leaves 4 underachieving starters and a bullpen that hasn't been particularly great this year either.
And, if you feel the need to trade for an offensive player, let's maybe think about making it a second baseman. Luis Rivas is playing much better of late, but he still ranks 32nd among MLB second basemen in EqA and, if he had enough playing time to qualify for the batting title, he would rank 152nd among major league hitters (out of 171) in OPS (on-base % + slugging %).
Some of you are probably wondering what my thoughts are on the all-star selections. To be honest, I couldn't care less. In the past I have gotten worked up about guys getting snubbed and/or undeserving players getting selected, but I probably won't watch more than a few innings of the game this year and it has been my experience in the past that everything all-star related is completely forgotten within 48 hours of the game anway.
The only thing I will say is that when Mike Williams and his 6.29 ERA and Lance Carter and his 4.17 ERA are on the teams instead of guys like Frank Thomas and Brian Giles and Corey Koskie and Jim Thome and Octavio Dotel and Aubrey Huff and Jason Varitek and Sammy Sosa and Pedro Martinez and Jason Giambi and Mike Cameron and several other deserving players...well, there is a lot wrong with the system and it is just another reason why it is tough for me to get excited about the "all-star" game.
Philadelphia (Duckworth) -100 over Montreal (Hernandez)
Atlanta (Ramirez) -130 over New York (Seo)
Cincinnati (Dempster) +190 over Houston (Oswalt)
Total to date: + $1,765
W/L record: 164-157 (1-3 on Friday for -275, dipping below 2,000 once again.)
*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****