December 20, 2005
If Terry Ryan has the ability to make a move on a significant designated hitter, I'm guessing it will happen soon. Ryan has consistently said he wanted to clear Jones' salary from the books before doing anything, so now he's free to pursue guys like Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas without the threat of going over budget.
Beyond that, adding a mediocre veteran first baseman seems like the last thing the Royals needed to do. They already have Mike Sweeney and Matt Stairs on the roster, and one of their top prospects is Justin Huber, a first baseman who hit .326/.417/.560 with 23 homers and 97 RBIs in 120 games between Double-A and Triple-A this year. Luckily, I stopped trying to figure the Royals out a while ago.
As I've said before, if the Twins can acquire multiple young players who are both good and cheap for Torii Hunter, they should jump all over it. Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano certainly each fit that bill, and if there are similar offers out there from other teams keeping Hunter for 2006 is a mistake.
Word is the Twins wanted pitcher Chien-Ming Wang and second baseman Robinson Cano from the Yankees for center fielder Torii Hunter before Minnesota acquired second baseman Luis Castillo from the Marlins.
Remember those big plans for the offense everyone had back in November? Well, at this point the Twins' moves have boiled down to replacing Jones and Nick Punto with Tony Batista and Luis Castillo. Batista actually replaces Michael Cuddyer at third base, but Cuddyer seems likely to take over for Jones in right field. Oh, and they've also lost Matthew LeCroy, who was one of the team's most productive hitters in 2005, and are still searching for his replacement. Good times!
Today at The Hardball Times:
- Franchises at Birth: The Royals and the Brewers (Part Two: 1971-1974) (by Steve Treder)
- Not So Sweet Surrender (by Dan Fox)
- Daily Graphing: A.J. Pierzynski & Heath Bell (by David Appelman)
Pick of the Day (155-133, +$2,055):
Los Angeles +3 (-110) over New Jersey