Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Holding a 16

The non-waiver trade deadline is Sunday, and teams have to figure out what, if anything, they want to do with it. Winning teams will add a key piece or two to help them finish the season strong, and the losing teams provide those pieces with hopes of acquiring youngsters that can help in future years.

And then there are the Twins. It's really hard to tell what the smart path is for the team that has shown flashes of both brilliance and brutality. It's like they're playing Blackjack, and they hold a 16.

If you've ever played Blackjack (and I haven't very much, so bear with me), you'll know that having a 16 is the worst hand to have. You know it's not likely that you'll win if you stay pat, but if you take a hit, you may bust. Or, you could just surrender*, give your chips to someone else, and try again next year.

This is a crucial week for Bill Smith to make up his mind; the team really needed to stay hot to convince him to try for winning -- in other words, be buyers. But they haven't looked like winners this week, so they may want to shed some players who can help another team and work on building for next year -- be sellers. However, they have a history of staying pat.

It might be difficult, but the smart move would be to admit that the Twins won't win the division this year, and they should look to improve in 2012. And it'll probably hurt.

There are a number of guys who are due to be free agents after the season, so it may be wise to trade one of them in order to get something for them before they potentially lose them. Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan, and Jim Thome will be free agents this off-season. Cuddyer probably has the most value right now, but the Twins have said a number of times that they're not interested in trading him. Kubel, Nathan, and Thome have had injury issues, although Kubel and Nathan are probably ok for the rest of the season.

Matt Capps, Denard Span, and Francisco Liriano have also drawn some interest from other teams. However, Span is still on the DL, and has yet to play in a full nine-inning game in his rehab. They can't trade a guy on the DL (well, actually, I think they can, but it requires special permission, and it's really a hassle and why would they want to anyway?). Capps and Liriano have kind of diluted their trade value lately.

And, of course, Kevin Slowey is still available for a trade.

So the next few days will be very interesting to see what happens. Interesting, and potentially painful. Stupid 16.

*If you're an expert Blackjack player, you'll know that I can't really surrender this hand because I've already taken one hit. Just ignore that and go with the flow here ok? I don't really feel like taking a new picture with a queen and a six.


Be sure to drop by here again in the next couple of days, for an exciting chance to win a DVD set of the 1991 Minnesota Twins World Series Championship:

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MAGIC IN MINNESOTA: REMEMBERING THE 1991 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP DVDhttp://shop.history.com/detail.php?p=302519&v=aetv

I just have to figure out what kind of contest to host. I'll come up with something. Probably something that doesn't require much work on my part.

More details soon.

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