Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bye, Benny

In the span of one week, the Twins have traded two speedy centerfielders. And both times, I've had mixed feelings about the deals.

Just when Twins fans handed over the responsibilities of centerfielder, lead off hitter, and 'big brother' to the up-and-coming outfielders to Ben Revere, he was traded to the Phillies for two right-handed pitchers. And just when fans were getting past losing Denard Span, another fun-to-watch, popular player was torn away from us.

Once again, many fans are upset. But for the front office to take this shambles of a ball club somewhere close (or closer, at least) to contention is going to be risky, and messy, ... and painful. And necessary.

Sure, having popular players around puts a few butts in the seats. However, winning baseball games puts a lot more butts in the seats. And for the current state of the Twins, talented starting pitching is more useful to the organization than popularity.

I like the Revere trade more than the Span trade, merely because the Twins received more in return. The Twins received starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.

Worley will be in the starting rotation right away. He recently had minor elbow clean-up surgery, but he claims he's already fully healed. He didn't have the greatest season in 2012, but he was actually outstanding in 2011. And his nickname is "Vanimal."

May is a highly-regarded prospect, although probably not quite as high as Alex Meyer, whom they got for Denard Span. He didn't have the best numbers in AA last season, so I can't really tell if he'll start 2013 in AAA or repeat AA for a bit.

It's still unclear who will be the centerfielder for the Twins now. The official corporate line is that Darin Mastroianni, Joe Benson, and Aaron Hicks will have opportunities to earn the spot in Spring Training.

I wish Ben all the best in Philly. And, of course, I hope his new fans take good care of him.

I guess I'm not as worried as I was about Ben's ability to get on base.

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