Monday, December 17, 2007

Twins add filler

The Twins signed 1B Mike Lamb late last week and told us he would be the Twins starting 3B. It's hard to know how to feel about this. If you're in the camp that believes the Twins might compete this year, then the Lamb move should be an intermediate one. He's a nice lefty stick who can play a little third, a little first, and DH some.

The Twins are in need of one more infielder--someone who can play either 2B or 3B. Brendan Harris' versatility allows the Twins more options than they're used to. Unfortunately, the option they are mostly likely to take is "no one." The Twins imply they're done, and that's too bad, but of course there's a decent chance they'll fill that spot in spite of themselves.

Any deal with Boston appears to include 2B Jed Lowrie, the Stanford product the Red Sox stole with a sandwich pick in 2005. Lowrie is close to ready, though it's possible he needs a little more AAA time. If the Twins deal Johan Santana to the Sox, it's likely that Lowrie would get a chance to take over 2B at some point this year. Between AA and AAA this past year, Lowrie put up great offensive numbers: .298/.393/.503 and played a limited shortstop.

What Boston had in mind for this 2B by putting him at SS is anyone's guess. I've heard it mentioned that at SS he'd be more attractive in trade. Perhaps the SS experience would provide needed depth in case of a big-league emergency. Whatever the reason, be assured Lowrie is unlikely to ever play SS in the major leagues. Should he make it to Boston to eventually pair with Dustin Pedroia, put your money on Pedroia to make the move across the bag.

So the Twins, if they deal Santana to the Red Sox for Jacoby Ellsbury, will constitute their 14 position player roster as such:

C: Mauer, Redmond
1B: Morneau
2B: Harris
3B: Lamb (Lowrie)
SS: Everett
UT: Punto, Machado
OF: Cuddyer, Ellsbury, Young, backup CF vs lhp TBD
DH: Kubel, Monroe

Lowrie would replace Machado or otherwise injured infielder, with Harris moving to 3B. Lamb is Ron Gardenhire's emergency catching, and thank god for that. The Twins still need a CF to bat versus tough lefties and spot will be interesting to see who's out there prior to spring training. Should the Twins deal Santana to the Yankees, Melky Cabrera would substitute for Ellsbury, and Lowrie would simply disappear.

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