Hi again. I meant to post sooner than this, but I've been busy. But I'm here now.
So I still have opinions bouncing around in my head, and I'd better get them out before things change and all that head-bouncing is wasted.
This time: Little Nicky Punto, Free Agent Man
Of the Twins free agents (Punto, Adam Everett, Dennys Reyes, and Eddie Guardado), Nicky is probably the only one who has a decent chance of being re-signed. Also, his future probably generates the most interest from Twins fans. Reyes may be more valuable as far as rankings, but I don't know of many fans who will shed tears if he signs elsewhere -- I think Jose Mijares or Craig Breslow can help heal that pain. But Nicky has something way more important to fans than rankings...he's got charm. And I know of a lot of fans who adore him, including me.
Whether the Twins re-sign him, however, appears to depend largely on him. It's not likely that the Twins will offer him a huge contract. If they decide to keep him, it'll be as a utility player and late-inning-defensive-replacement guy -- a good fit for him in my opinion. However, if he feels he wants to be a starter, it's going to have to be somewhere else.
Personally, I think he should re-sign with the Twins if they give him a palatable offer. He fits so nicely into the organization -- he's athletic, he's good defensively, and he's a "team-first" guy. He pretty much embodies "The Twins Way."
There is one teensy little thing I think he needs to work on: I noticed my super-cool Twins wall calendar (which must've been printed in about February of 2007 because it features Luis Castillo) listed his weight at 174 -- a good weight for a little guy. However, the Twins official web site now lists him at 195. Wow, dude, twenty pounds is a lot of extra heft on a 5'8" frame. And where did all that poundage come from? If this keeps up, we may have to drop the "Little" from Little Nicky Punto. Chunky Nicky Punto doesn't have the same ring to it. I'm not saying...I'm just saying.
Hey! Congrats to Joey Mauer for his shiny new Gold Glove. It's very well deserved (unlike some others).