If the 2012 Twins were my OOTP Twins…

If anyone has played OOTP before, they’ll get what I’m angling at here. Basically, it’s a “Simm League” which allows you to play GM with your team for as many seasons as the game will allow. The longest leagues I’ve been in have gone 40ish years.

Anyway, as a GM, it’s your job to re-sign players, draft, and basically everything that goes into being an MLB General Manager. It’s an awful lot of fun, and I’m in two leagues that need GMs. Email me if you’re interested.

Nonetheless, I thought it might be fun to take a little step back from what has been an awful 2011 Twins season, and play a little OOTP-style GMing for the offseason to come. (Note: This isn’t to be taken too seriously. Also, it’s a late-night posting and I’m barely lucid, but here goes…)

Let’s take a look at the starting lineup:
C – Chris Iannetta
1B – Joe Mauer
2B – Alexi Casilla
3B – Danny Valencia
SS – Trevor Plouffe
LF – Coco Crisp
CF – Denard Span
RF – Michael Cuddyer
DH – Justin Morneau

Batting Order:
1. Span CF
2. Crisp LF
3. Mauer 1B
4. Morneau DH
5. Cuddyer RF
6. Valencia 3B
7. Plouffe SS
8. Iannetta C
9. Casilla 2B

Bench:
IF – Tsuyoshi Nishioka
IF – Luke Hughes
OF – Ben Revere
DH – Jason Giambi

Rotation:
1. Scott Baker
2. Rich Harden
3. Francisco Liriano
4. Kevin Slowey
5. Nick Blackburn

Pen:
MU-Jose Mijares
MR-Joe Nathan, Brian Duensing, Scott Atchison
SU- Jason Frasor
CL- Glen Perkins

Triple-A/25th Man Candidates:
1B Chris Parmelee
SP Liam Hendriks
SP Alex Wimmers
MR Alex Burnett
OF Joe Benson

Moves:
Deal Carl Pavano for some minor league infield help.
Deal for Chris Iannetta, and nab Jason Giambi in free agency.
Pray the White Sox decline Frasor’s option; sign him to a reasonable two-year deal.
Re-sign Joe Nathan to a moderate deal to stay in the bullpen, but not as a closer necessarily.
Sign Scott Atchison as a minor league free agent.

Summary:
I think with Wilin Rosario up in Colorado, the writing is on the wall for Iannetta. He wouldn’t be a handout or anything, but I think a deal could be struck to obtain him from the Rockies to split time behind the plate with Mauer. I only placed Mauer at 1st because I think the club has to entertain the notion of Mauer only catching maybe 50ish percent of the time, which certainly means the club needs to address the catcher spot. Ramon Hernandez and Kelly Shoppach are two other guys I’d target.

Similarly, I want to keep/get Justin Morneau healthy, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe he can do that as a full-time DH. I’m a big Trevor Plouffe fan, and might actually like him at 2B and Casilla at SS, but I don’t think Gardenhire will go that way. I’m not the biggest Danny Valencia fan, but I think he can rebound to the midpoint of his 2010 and 2011 seasons. Hughes makes for a good corner backup, as well as 2B, and Nishioka is a sunk cost. I don’t think there’s any chance they can do much with him, unless he pulls a Kenji Johjima and stays home.

As far as the outfield goes, I think adding Crisp improves the OF athleticism a great deal, and will only bolster a fly ball staff’s potential to improve from a disastrous 2011 season. Similarly, I vacillated between re-signing Kubel and Cuddyer, only opting for Cuddyer due to his versatility and RH bat. I love the way Giambi has reinvigorated his career in Colorado, and think he could take a Jim Thome-like role with the club in 2012. Nobody can replace Big Jim, but Giambi could be worth a shot.

As far as the pitching staff goes, I only have a few big moves. I’d like to deal Pavano to clear some salary, which would allow me to ink Frasor and Harden, as well as re-sign Nathan to bolster what could be an underrated bullpen. I like Atchison because of his strikeout potential, and because he’d come very cheaply, which I’d probably need after inking Harden (whom has had a great year K/9 and BB/9 wise) and Frasor (underrated, I think).

I don’t particularly fancy keeping Blackburn in the rotation, but I need to know a few things before dealing him. First of all, what can I get for him? If it’s even a good utility infielder, I probably make that deal. Second of all, can Wimmers continue to take major steps forward? If so, there’s a good chance he, Hendriks, or David Bromberg could get a shot to fill the last hole in my rotation. Deolis Guerra and Lester Oliveros also get looks in the pen.

So let me know what you think in the comments section. Obviously, this isn’t to be taken too seriously, but it’s sort of realistic, sort of fun, and for that reason, I think worth it.

About Brandon Warne

Sportswriter trying to make it.
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