December 10, 2008
Day 3 at the Winter Meetings
UPDATE #1: Joining the local beat writers in the Twins' hotel suite yesterday afternoon showed me how tough their jobs can be at times. LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Kelly Thesier of MLB.com did their best to pepper general manager Bill Smith with questions throughout their scheduled sit-down with him, but essentially got zero answers back other than cliches and generalities. It was very awkward.
Smith danced around even the most straightforward, non-prying questions and I'm told that's nothing new, which makes it tough for reporters to simply get usable quotes, let alone interesting information or a scoop. During his press conference Ron Gardenhire was much better about at least providing a little information and quotable material while giving non-answers, and occasionally said enough that someone willing to read between the lines (like me) can draw conclusions.
After spending a half-hour with Gardenhire and a half-hour with Smith, it's clear that the Twins want to re-sign Nick Punto to start at shortstop. Less clear but still seemingly apparent is that Delmon Young is being shopped. In fact, at this point it would actually surprise me if he's in the Opening Day lineup. Gardenhire and Smith both talked about the outfield depth and admitted that he had a disappointing season, and there were hints that at the very least they were less than thrilled with Young off the field.
UPDATE #2: LEN3 reports that the Twins could be in the mix for Mark DeRosa via getting involved in the multi-team Jake Peavy blockbuster. Meanwhile, Miller notes that Joaquin Benoit is on the Twins' radar as they search for bullpen help. It all depends on the cost to acquire them, of course, but on the surface both players strike me as worthwhile targets if the price is right.
UPDATE #3: While having lunch today I heard from a couple non-Minnesota reporters who think that the Twins have a legitimate shot at DeRosa, perhaps for a package involving Philip Humber. At this point Humber looks like a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever, so picking up DeRosa without giving up much else would be a very solid deal. Of course, the whole thing depends on the Cubs pulling off a trade for Peavy and an MLB.com report says the Cubs aren't even shopping DeRosa, so who knows.
More later, but in the meantime please check out my winter meetings blogging over at Rotoworld: