November 17, 2005

Dreaming

I took a little nap last night (in fact, I am typing this about five minutes after getting up) and had one of those crazy dreams that ties together a bunch of random stuff you had been thinking about before falling asleep.

In this particular dream I was at some sort of a convention (I had just read the SABR newsletter about the 2006 convention in Seattle), hanging out with Adam Carolla and Fred Taylor (I had just listened to an old episode of Loveline and written something for Rotoworld about Taylor's ankle injury), and we ran into Elisha Cuthbert and a group of her friends (no explanation needed).


Drinks and conversation ensued, during which I was extraordinarily charming (that's how I knew it was a dream) and had the room cracking up over jokes about Taylor's injury history. You know, because Canadian actresses love fantasy football humor. Sadly, I woke up before knowing whether or not having Carolla and Taylor as my wingmen was successful.

Instead, I got up groggy, read some e-mails about one of my Diamond-Mind keeper leagues, turned on the Travel Channel to watch a World Poker Tour repeat episode that I've seen no fewer than three times already, and began typing this blog entry. So, basically the same sort of exciting stuff I was dreaming about.

* * * * *

I stumbled across a few interesting Twins rumors last night. First, here's one from the from the Kansas City Star:
The Cardinals have indicated they hope to retain Sanders, while the Twins, Marlins and Mariners are also known to have expressed interest. He is expected to command a multiyear deal in excess of the $4 million that he made in 2005.

If you remember back to the middle of last month, I suggested Reggie Sanders as a free agent the Twins should be going after. As always, it's great to see Terry Ryan following my advice.

Next, here's another rumor from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

The Marlins left the general managers' meetings confident they can jettison third baseman Mike Lowell. What they probably can't do is altogether eliminate him from the books.

Owed $9 million each of the next two seasons, Lowell is tradable if the Marlins are willing to absorb some of the remaining dollars. According to a front office official who has spoken with the Marlins, they had "a few hits" on Lowell this past week.

[...]

One club that could take him at a discount is the Minnesota Twins. Former Marlin and Lowell friend Mike Redmond last season got in the front office's ear about acquiring the Gold Glove winner.

If the Marlins are willing to pay a huge chunk of Mike Lowell's salary and they are willing to deal him without getting a whole lot of value back, this is a move I like quite a bit. After five very good and remarkably consistent seasons, Lowell was horrendous this year:

YEAR      AVG      OBP      SLG      OPS
2000 .270 .344 .474 .818
2001 .283 .340 .448 .788
2002 .276 .346 .471 .817
2003 .276 .350 .530 .880
2004 .293 .365 .505 .870

2005 .236 .298 .360 .658

I have no idea why Lowell struggled so badly in 2005, but I am hesitant to write someone off because of one bad season in six. Plus, he's only 31 years old, stayed healthy enough to play 150 games, and looked good enough defensively at third base to win a Gold Glove (for what little that's worth these days).

The 2000-2004 version of Lowell would be a perfect fit for the Twins, sliding into the middle of the lineup as a right-handed bat between Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, and taking over at third base. Whether or not that version still exists is a big concern, obviously, but if the Marlins pay half his salary it's probably worth finding out.

And last but not least in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a whole slew of rumors from the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com, LaVelle E. Neal:

Among the hitters they have contacted is former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, who is willing to move to the American League and split time between being a catcher and a designated hitter.

[...]

"Minnesota called me and to me there is interest in Mike," said Dan Lozano, Piazza's agent. "Minnesota definitely is a team Mike is willing to listen to. At this point, it's a little bit premature to determine what's going to happen and where Mike's going to end up."

Lozano also confirmed that the Twins have expressed interest in infielder Tony Graffanino. Graffanino, 33, batted .309 with seven homers and 38 RBI last season in stints with Kansas City and Boston. He played in a career-high 110 games last season, and the Twins reportedly are willing to give him the chance to be the everyday second baseman.

According to people with the team, the Twins are interested in more than a dozen free agents. Their options include third baseman Bill Mueller, whom the Twins tried to acquire from Boston before the July 31 trading deadline, infielder Nomar Garciaparra, who was limited to 62 games with the Cubs because of a torn groin muscle, and Rondell White, who batted .313 in 97 games with Detroit. Garciaparra could be asked to play third base, and White would be the full-time DH.

We'll soon see how things actually play out, but I like the guys the Twins are rumored to be going after.

Today at The Hardball Times:
- Batted Ball Leaderboards (by Dave Studeman)
- Quantifying Catcher Defense, and Other Stuff Like That (by David Gassko)

Pick of the Day (138-118, +$2,005):
Washington +4 (-110) over Minnesota


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