September 20, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Nick Punto had his most Nick Punto moment ever, sliding head-first into first base on a single to the outfield. Randball's Stu may have to update his oral history of Punto's head-first slides.

Baseball America's article naming Byron Buxton as their minor league player of the year is essentially porn for Twins fans.

• "Breaking Bad" fans will enjoy this Yelp page.

• As an embarrassed, longtime BlackBerry user I can safely say most of these reasons are bullshit.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra showed why I almost never call into radio shows when invited.

• There's a ton of dead weight on the Twins' roster, so who will they get rid of this offseason?

• Thanks to everyone who attended the "Grand Drunk Railroad" event Saturday. It was a major success, as more than 100 people joined the light rail pub crawl in the afternoon and the group continued to have fun at night despite the Twins-Rays game being delayed by rain, thanks in no small part to Glen Perkins buying us a round of beers from the bullpen. It went so well that we'll definitely do something similar again and we're already brainstorming other get-together ideas.

• We recorded this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode at various stops along the pub crawl, so it features multiple special guests and everyone getting progressively drunker/weirder as the show goes on. I already posted a bunch of videos and photos from the event on the episode page, but here are a couple more pictures of the podcasting in progress:

pub crawl podcast

We're recording a new "Gleeman and The Geek" show this weekend at New Bohemia's inaugural beer fest, where a taster pass gets all-you-can-drink beer from 10 different breweries.

• More people will probably click on this link than watched the Astros on CSN Houston.

Chiara Atik of How About We explains why I'll never stop tweeting at Jon Taffer.

• One of my rules is that whenever Lizzy Caplan appears on a talk show I'll link to it.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen he grilled me about a first date, I complained about getting a ticket driving to the studio, and we brainstormed questions for Terry Ryan.

Todd Helton is one of the most productive home hitters in baseball history, but Coors Field is all over the list.

• After six years as Minneapolis Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes left for the Houston Chronicle.

Conan O'Brien playing "Grand Theft Auto" made me also want to play the game without a clue.

• I have no idea how to handle this emotionally.

• One second on the internet is plenty of time for anything.

• In real life Jonathan Banks is very different than the Mike Ehrmantraut character he played on "Breaking Bad." But he's no less fun to watch.

• After watching last week's "Breaking Bad" episode I wondered on Twitter what happens if no one ever tells Huell he can leave that room now and it turns out someone did the research:

I watched that for ... well, longer than I'm comfortable admitting.

• This conversation started at 1:30 a.m.

• Uh oh. It turns out NBC has had a hidden camera in my office this entire time.

• One of my favorite stand-up comedians, Gary Gulman, is performing all this weekend at the comedy club in the Mall of America.

• Netflix recommendation: "Starlet" is a well-done, small-scale story that avoids the usual movie cliches and features two really strong lead performances by unknown actresses.

Alison Agosti is always one of my favorite podcast guests and she was great on "Hey, Teens!" with Eric Gosselin and Jon Wiener.

• "Parks and Recreation" writer (and former AG.com commenter) Harris Wittels had a funny, interesting chat with Marc Maron.

• Two of my favorite podcasts joined forces when Graham Clark from "Stop Podcasting Yourself" was on a live show with Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris from "Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Byron Buxton's mom"
- "Grand Drunk Railroad"
- "How did Meatsauce from KFAN lose weight?"
- "Nick Punto head-first slide"
- "Ben Grieve net worth"
- "Jim Souhan is the worst"
- "Gillian Jacobs introvert"
- "Connie and Aaron play me"
- "Tevin Campbell radio interviews in 1999"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground:


Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website directly to thousands of readers each day? Click here for details.

August 30, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Sunday afternoon "Gleeman and The Geek" will be broadcasting live from the Minnesota State Fair at the KFAN booth near the grandstand. We're doing an extended two-hour show from 4-6 p.m. and there are bleachers set up so people can hang out, eat food, and watch the show, so it would be great to to see some podcast listeners and blog readers there.

• I've had a running bit on Twitter this season in which I tweet out "Glen Perkins, proven closer" after he converts a save. It's part appreciating how great Perkins has been and part mocking the silliness about the Twins needing a so-called "proven closer" when they traded for Matt Capps. Perkins and his wife Alisha Perkins have done a lot of charitable work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and now they're selling "Proven Closer" t-shirts to raise money:

Proven Closer shirt

As you can see, in addition to the "proven closer" label it also features a sketch of Perkins zipping up his fly, which he did mid-save earlier this season. I think it's a funny shirt being sold to benefit a great cause by a pair of good people, so I highly encourage everyone to join me in buying one.

UPDATE: I think this midnight conversation shows everyone's true colors perfectly.

• I defy anyone to find a better video of me hitting a milk carton for home run with a bowling pin in someone's kitchen.

• Remember the various fake movies that were featured in "Seinfeld" like "Rochelle, Rochelle" and "Prognosis Negative"? Someone went and made posters for all of them.

• Does a concussion mean it's time to move Joe Mauer away from catcher?

• Every row of this picture from 2001 adds a new dimension of fun. Row 1: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Row 2: Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd. Row 3: Jimmy KimmelTriumph The Insult Comic Dog, and Carson Daly. Row 4: Fred Durst. What a time to be alive. I started blogging the next year.

• I've been conducting similar experiments for years, but a lot more data needs to be collected.

• I'd love to hear the story being told by the guy in the middle wearing a Twins jersey. Based on his act-out and the reaction of the woman sitting next to him it seems like a great one.

• Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips freaked out at a reporter and angrily mocked him for one of the few physical traits that society hasn't deemed off limits.

• On a related note, I really liked Will Leitch's article about the athlete/reporter power struggle.

• I have a couple openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• My favorite scene from this week's "Breaking Bad" was the waiter offering table-side guacamole during an extremely tense meal, so imagine my delight when the actor, Guy Wilson, reached out to me via Twitter to say he's a fan of my writing. Worlds colliding!

• Speaking of great "Breaking Bad" scenes from this week, remixing Hank and Marie watching Miley Cyrus is what makes the internet so wonderfully stupid:

That's just good internetting.

GIF magic, starring Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Fernandez.

• As mentioned on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, I hung out in Uptown until 4:00 a.m. Saturday night. Part of the festivities involved seeing Vikings fullback Jerome Felton at Bar Louie around 1:00 a.m. He couldn't have been nicer to my group of drunken doofuses, answering stupid questions about Christian Ponder and, as the bar closed and we exited together, giving out high-fives and hugs. And then 36 hours later the NFL suspended him for substance abuse.

• I had a discussion about this topic Saturday night, so this website comes in handy.

• In addition to recapping my late evening, on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode fill-in producer Kate Butler set me straight about what may or may not be a turn-on for women.

Michael Baumann of Grantland wrote a good article about Justin Morneau that captures a lot of my same feelings on the subject.

Marlon Byrd was traded by the Mets on "Marlon Byrd t-shirt night."

• I'm very late to the party, but after recently discovering Jason Isbell's music I've downloaded every song and am pretty much listening to him non-stop. He's coming to Minnesota in October to play the Varsity Theater--where I saw stand-up comedians John Mulaney and Carmen Lynch be hilarious this spring--and I think we should all go. Together, even, if you know me in real life.

• Just missing the cut at No. 25: "Wanna try to get a date on the radio at the State Fair?"

• St. Cloud Rox employee Michael Johnson found some footage of our party bus outing in June.

• This week's reminder that I went to journalism school.

• One of the more mind-boggling responses to criticism that I've ever seen: "I've got a wall full of plaques from various writing awards in my home office. If you'd like I can list them for you."

Alan Sepinwall interviewed "Parks and Recreation" creator and former baseball blogger Mike Schur about his new show, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Schur is great and the cast includes longtime AG.com favorites Chelsea Peretti and Andre Braugher, so I'm really looking forward to it.

• As usual, I feel the same as Larry David.

Alex Karpovsky is one of the best things about "Girls" on HBO and Netflix just added a few of the movies he wrote, directed, and starred in. Definitely worth checking out.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "Terrible Gleeman"
- "Whatever happened to Joel Zumaya?"
- "Heavy guy diet failure"
- "Why did the Twins sign Mike Pelfrey?"
- "Gilbert Gottfried depressed on Howard Stern"
- "Robin Tunney socks"
- "Paulie Walnuts hair"
- "Dana Wessel and Randball's Stu obsessed with Link-O-Rama"

• Finally, in honor of Felton this week's AG.com-approved song is "Ridin" by Chamillionaire:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

August 16, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Wanna see Jared Burton punch Brian Duensing?

LaTroy Hawkins, who's getting another chance to close again at age 40, got hit in the bollocks. And yet he still won't wear a cup.

• "Doctor offers free plastic surgery in exchange for dream dates" is a story that has me curious about the blogger equivalent.

• And speaking of the blogger equivalent, "burglar left bruised and bleeding by retired 72-year-old boxer" is a pretty great headline.

• How good has Oswaldo Arcia been as a rookie and how good can he become long term?

• While searching for a photo to use for that Arcia post I stumbled across this beauty featuring Arcia, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, and FSN sideline reporter Jamie Hersch.

Francisco Liriano is so busy throwing complete games for the Pirates that he has neither the time nor the energy to bother with hitting.

• And because he can't be any worse than Liriano in that last video, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily might take an at-bat against Glen Perkins. I want to be there to podcast the magic.

• Happy birthday to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis, who turned 30 years old. It's all downhill from here, trust me.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we again learn that John Bonnes isn't needed.

• Oh nothing, just Nick Punto hitting a homer and then doing a postgame interview with a Punto jersey-wearing Danny DeVito on the field at Dodger Stadium:

Punto does kind of have a Charlie Day vibe.

• It turns out not all Bar Mitzvah parties are created equal. Way back in 1996 my party featured basketball and swimming rather than a full-scale burlesque show. We did have pizza, though.

• I'm thinking of applying to the Twins' "social media suite" for the free food. And also because the application asks for a count of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and ... LinkedIn connections.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen he welcomed Cory Cove into the KFAN studio to tag-team mock me for winning a bunch of money playing poker at Canterbury Park. And then I threw Nick Nelson under the bus to save myself.

Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wrote a very good article about the Twins pitching staff's historic inability to generate strikeouts.

Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs chatted with one of my favorite baseball beat reporters, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

• And speaking of MLB beat reporters, Deadspin's efforts to identify the best and worst covering each team was kind of disappointing in that they left the worst spots blank a lot.

• Congrats to former "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Ben Goessling, who left the St. Paul Pioneer Press to become ESPN's new Vikings beat reporter. Newspapers continue to hemorrhage talent.

• Wanna be the Minneapolis Star Tribune's new Vikings beat reporter?

• According to a University of Georgia study 28 percent of journalism school graduates wish they'd chosen a different field, which actually doesn't sound all that high to this non-graduate.

Jonathan Abrams' article about Jonny Flynn for Grantland is a must-read for Timberwolves fans, David Kahn haters, and people who simply enjoy shaking their head in disbelief.

• St. Paul Central graduate, Ricky Rubio fan club president, stand-up comedian, and "Parks and Recreation" writer Joe Mande is finally doing something with his life.

• I'm almost finished re-watching "The Sopranos" and by far my favorite part has been getting to re-hear Paulie Walnuts pronounce "Baja Fresh" again:

I laughed as hard at that two days ago as I did 10 years ago and can't explain why in either case.

Rickey Henderson's high school yearbook picture from 1976 is spectacular.

• For my fellow insomniacs, Allie Shah wrote about the struggle to sleep for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, including how "young people, in particular, might be setting themselves up for future problems because of their round-the-clock devotion to mobile devices and social media."

• I really hope everyone listened to me and signed up for the light rail pub crawl/Twins game on September 14, because just look at this shirt.

• Mazel tov to the Phillies for releasing Delmon Young, who refused an assignment to Triple-A.

Manny Ramirez is probably done after being released from Triple-A by the Rangers, but don't forget what a monster he was for 15 years.

"Blue Valentine" is one of my 10 favorite movies, so I was incredibly excited for Ryan Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance's second collaboration, but "The Place Beyond The Pines" was underwhelming. Not bad, certainly, but also nothing special overall. Another fairly new release that I rented this week, "Mud" starring Matthew McConaughey, was much better.

• As someone who obsessively watches "Chopped" on Food Network and obsessively listens to podcasts, chef Alex Guarnaschelli's interview with Marc Maron was amazing. She quoted "Bull Durham" and talked about listening to Notorious B.I.G. and is basically a perfect human.

• "Doodie Calls" with Doug Mand and Jack Dolgen is always funny/weird, but Annie Lederman was a particularly great guest.

Alex Rodriguez, as explained by detective Frank Pembleton.

• If you're into supporting worthwhile projects via Kickstarter check out Hunter Weeks' "feature-length film about the oldest people in the world and their lessons for living life right."

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Jim Thome naked"
- "Jim Thome shirtless"
- "Lean Cuisine chicken enchilada suiza makes me sweat"
- "Brendan Harris attitude"
- "Otis Redding baseball cards"
- "Tevin Campbell radio interview"
- "Mae Whitman pornstar lookalike"
- "Who is Dana Wessel?"
- "Bar graph showing pork chops and mutton chops"

• Finally, because I've listened to it about 100 times in two weeks despite not being sure if I love it or hate it this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Reckoning Song" by Asaf Avidan:


Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website directly to thousands of readers each day? Click here for details.

July 26, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Glen Perkins was definitely right: Converting a save with his fly down did guarantee him a spot in Link-O-Rama.

• I've spent most of the past couple years counting calories, so this photographic look at what 200 calories worth of various food looks like was fascinating.

• If you're going to have "fields of marijuana plants" worth $4 million Hinckley is as good a place as any, just because of the proximity to the donuts at Tobies.

• Friend of AG.com Alex Belth combined Greg Maddux and Al Green, which you know I loved.

• Speaking of which, I just realized that YouTube has my favorite album of all time available in full. You should listen to it, many times.

• Reading about how various people at the New York Times didn't appreciate or even respect Nate Silver hit a lot of familiar notes about old-school media.

• I've been wearing "dad jeans" for years, so it's good to see fashion trends are catching up.

• If this works I'm requesting that Otis Redding play at my birthday party next year.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked about Scott Diamond's demise and the notion of clutch, and then I revealed my plans to kill middle infielders via time travel.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza does a remarkable job making me want to see her new movie:

She also gave some amusing answers in a GQ magazine interview.

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily talked to Twins stat-head Jack Goin about what exactly goes into the trade deadline.

• Do the Twins even have any players other teams will want at the trade deadline?

• When it comes to Derek Jeter it's hard to tell the difference between news and fan fiction.

• Apparently a "specialty whiskey and craft beer store" is coming to my neck of the woods, which might suggest I've gotten a second job as a city planner.

Justin Morneau's out-avoiding slide Tuesday night must be seen to believe.

Samuel Deduno chewing on his necklace mid-pitch also go the GIF treatment.

• While at KFAN for my weekly half-hour appearance on Paul Allen's show I saw psychic/nutcase Gary Spivey roaming the hallways, but didn't have the guts to snap a photo of his ridiculous hair.

• On a related note, PA's preseason plan to bet $100 on the Twins in all 162 games has shown a $74 profit through 99 games. I have a spreadsheet tracking it and everything.

Chris Colabello might be pretty good if the Twins give him a chance.

• As someone who doesn't care about steroids, this was an amusing collection.

• Terminally ill "The Simpsons" co-creator Sam Simon is giving away his vast fortune to charity.

Geraldo Rivera made weird headlines this week, but one key thing to remember is that he got beat up by Frank Stallone on Howard Stern's show back in 1992:

Rivera was only 49 years old back then, so he wasn't yet the old 50 or the new 50.

• I'm going to ask for this look at Great Clips next time.

Never forget: "Kevin Correia pitching like an ace right in front of our eyes."

• Re-watching "The Sopranos" update: I looked up Johnny Cakes on Wikipedia and learned that the actor killed himself in 2008. Lots of sad, premature deaths among the show's great cast.

Jon Dore has become one of my favorite guests on the podcast circuit and he was lots of fun on "The Crabfeast" with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson.

Bill Simmons did a nice job interviewing Anthony Jeselnik, who's gotten famous enough that his biggest claim to fame is no longer being Gregg Rosenthal's college roommate.

• Friend of AG.com Axel Kohagen makes the case for "End of Watch" as a horror movie. Sort of.

• I'm going to the Society for American Baseball Research convention in Philadelphia next week, so if any AG.com readers are going to be there let me know.

• Unlike the Twins last night I remembered having a really good time at Safeco Field when I was there in 2006, so I looked up this excerpt from my SABR convention recap.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "What happened to Drew Butera?"
- "Twins blogger Aaron"
- "Stepped on the scale get even fatter"
- "Notes to twin babies"
- "Justin Morneau shirtless"
- "Famous Jewish women celebrities"
- "Ryan Braun penis"
- "Matt Capps net worth"
- "How much do the Fox Sports North Girls make?"
- "Jon Taffer hair"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "If I Loved You" by Delta Rae:


This week's blog content is sponsored by the Twins Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game, where you can join Aaron Gleeman, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs for a day of bar-hopping and baseball on September 14. Space is limited, so book your spot.

July 25, 2013

What are the Twins’ trade deadline options?

morneau and perkins

As the Twins stumble toward a third consecutive 90-loss season next week's trade deadline is an opportunity to acquire young talent to aid the ongoing rebuilding effort. But will any of the Twins' obvious trade candidates be in enough demand to actually fetch significant long-term help? And does it make sense for the Twins to shop some not-so-obvious veterans in an effort to make a bigger splash? Here's my view of the players they might deal between now and July 31.


Justin Morneau: Sadly, at this point Morneau is little more than a recognizable name with an MVP trophy and a big salary. He hasn't been the same since suffering a concussion in mid-2010, hitting just .258/.319/.401 in 295 games over the past three seasons. This year he's been healthy after dealing with an assortment of major injuries in addition to the concussion, but his power has vanished and his .726 OPS is 50 points below the MLB average for first basemen.

Contending teams looking to add a left-handed veteran bat cheaply may have some interest, but even if the Twins are willing to cover the remaining $6 million on Morneau's contract they aren't going to get much for the 32-year-old impending free agent. He hasn't been an above-average first baseman since the concussion and has played poorly enough that draft pick compensation is no longer a realistic option, so it's either let him walk for nothing or settle for a modest return.


Glen Perkins: Trading relievers when their value is high usually makes sense because their role only involves throwing 60-70 innings per season and they often burn out sooner than expected. Toss in the "proven closer" aspect potentially inflating Perkins' perceived value a la Matt Capps and the Twins would be making a mistake if they didn't listen to offers. With that said, he's not an example of the closer role making a mediocre reliever look like a great one.

Perkins is legitimately great, with a 2.37 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 171 innings since moving to the bullpen full time, and because the Twins signed him before he became a "proven closer" he's priced more like a setup man. He's under team control at reasonable salaries through 2016, so even setting aside the fact that he's a native Minnesotan and fan favorite there's no reason to trade Perkins now unless they get big-time value back.


Jared Burton: Everything about trading relievers with their value high applies to Burton too, but like Perkins he's under team control for reasonable salaries: $3.5 million in 2014 and $3.6 million in 2015. Burton is also two years older than Perkins and has a lengthy injury history that allowed the Twins to acquire him cheaply in the first place, so there should be quite a bit more motivation to shop the 32-year-old around now.

Burton has a 2.71 ERA and 95-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 106 innings for the Twins and even after going through a rough patch recently his overall numbers this season remain late inning-caliber. If the Twins can get a solid position player prospect or a young pitcher with some upside for Burton they should absolutely consider it strongly, but he's cheap enough, good enough, and signed for long enough to hang onto unless the market is a decent one.


Mike Pelfrey: His early work coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery was ugly, but Pelfrey has looked much better recently and more or less resembles his pre-surgery self. Of course, he wasn't all that good before going under the knife, posting a 4.45 ERA and 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 97 starts for the Mets from 2009-2011. Since a brutal April he's started 13 games with a 4.38 ERA and 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Pelfrey was signed in the hopes that he could eat innings for a rebuilt rotation, but he's gone more than six innings just twice in 18 starts and with the Twins already out of contention a 29-year-old back-of-the-rotation starter on a one-year contract carries even less value than before. He's owed about $1.5 million for the rest of the season, so teams that miss out on bigger targets might view him as an inexpensive fallback option.


Kevin Correia: Correia has been as advertised, posting a 4.17 ERA compared to the AL average of 4.05 while striking out just 5.0 batters per nine innings and serving up 18 homers in 19 starts. He hasn't been horrible, but he certainly hasn't been an asset and because the Twins felt the need to give him a two-year contract at age 32 he's owed $2 million for the rest of this season and $5 million next year.

None of their young rotation options have established themselves as quality big leaguers yet, so bringing back Correia for 2014 wouldn't be a terrible idea. However, there was nothing separating him from the various mediocre starters who signed one-year deals this offseason and the same type of starters will be available again this winter, so if the Twins can get a mid-level prospect in return while wiping his salary off the books that sounds pretty good.


Brian Duensing: After repeatedly flopping as a starter the plan was for Duensing to move back into the bullpen and rediscover his previous success as a reliever. Instead he's mostly struggled, against both righties and lefties, although his secondary numbers versus left-handed bats remain promising. Duensing is a decent middle reliever, but the need to be sheltered from right-handed power hitters will always limit his value.

Beyond that he's 30 years old and being paid $1.3 million this season, with the arbitration process all but assuring him a raise for 2014. If the Twins think he can bounce back to his pre-2013 relief work then Duensing would be worth keeping around for next season and they also have him under team control for 2015, but he's no longer a bargain and no longer has any real upside. If a team in need of left-handed bullpen help is willing to part with a decent prospect they should take it.


Ryan Doumit: When the Twins signed Doumit to a two-year, $7 million contract extension in the middle of last season it seemed like a fair price for an above-average hitter with some defensive versatility and one of the talking points was that the deal would make him easy to trade if needed. Instead he's hit just .237/.297/.388 in 87 games for the worst production of his career at age 32 and has struggled defensively as a catcher and corner outfielder.

Doumit is owed about $1.5 million for the rest of this season and $3.5 million next season, so his contract is hardly an albatross. Still, he was never perceived as being especially valuable to begin with thanks to his terrible defensive reputation behind the plate and Doumit's hitting has fallen off enough that trading him would probably be mostly about unloading the salary. He could be useful next season in a similar but reduced role if there's no market for him.


Trevor Plouffe: Plouffe is sort of the wild card in any trade speculation because he's 27 years old, making the minimum salary, and under team control through 2017. However, the Twins rightfully seem less than convinced that Plouffe's good but not great offense makes up for his awful defense at third base and 20-year-old stud prospect Miguel Sano will hopefully be ready to take over the position relatively soon anyway.

Plouffe could always slide across the diamond to first base, where his defense would be less of a negative and maybe even turn into a positive, but his .242/.305/.442 line at the plate since the beginning of last season would be below average among first basemen. On a good team Plouffe fits best as a part-time player who can fill in at a few positions and get most of his playing time versus left-handers, but if another team views him as an everyday asset the Twins should listen.


Josh Willingham: This time last season Willingham was in the middle of a career-year at age 33 and there were some trade rumors swirling, but the Twins opted against dealing him and then decided not to move him during the offseason either. It's impossible to say for certain what they could have gotten for Willingham in July or December, but whatever trade value he had is gone now and he'll be on the disabled list when the July 31 deadline passes.

Willingham had a strong April, but then hit .213/.338/.343 in 50 games from May 1 until the Twins finally shut him down in late June. In addition to the poor production at the plate he was also even worse than usual defensively in left field, limping around on what turned out to be a torn meniscus in his left knee. Willingham is due back in late August and it's possible the Twins could move him during the waiver trade period, but any chance of getting a significant return is long gone.


Jamey Carroll: Carroll went from useful, underrated role player to washed up in the blink of an eye, which is often what happens to 39-year-olds. His contract includes a $2 million team option or $250,000 buyout for 2014 that becomes a player option if he gets 401 plate appearances, but there's no chance of that happening. He's a goner anyway and might be headed for retirement, so if the Twins can save money or get a random minor leaguer in return it would make sense.


This week's blog content is sponsored by the Twins Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game, where you can join Aaron Gleeman, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs for a day of bar-hopping and baseball on September 14. Space is limited, so book your spot.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »