Today I thought it might be fun to put together a team of players the Twins moved on from that wasn’t entirely beneficial to the club.
In order to fill out a roster, there may be some stretches, but at the end of the post, I’ll also tie in the second idea that really spurred this post altogether. This list will largely be of recent players, though I’m sure a compelling list could be made from the entire encyclopedia of Twins history.
But, it’s my notion that this has plagued the Twins a bit more under this regime than previous ones so, confirmation bias be darned, I’m going to stick with it.
So here’s the club (keep in mind some players traded for each other may appear):
C- Wilson Ramos
1B- Garrett Jones
2B- Todd Walker
3B- Corey Koskie
SS- J.J. Hardy
LF- Casey Blake
CF- Matt Lawton
RF- Jason Kubel
DH- David Ortiz
C- Javier Valentin
IF- Jason Bartlett
IF- Nick Punto
OF- Carlos Gomez
OF- Darnell McDonald
SP- Johan Santana
SP- Matt Garza
SP- Kevin Slowey
SP- R.A. Dickey
SP- Kyle Lohse
MRs- Jesse Crain, Craig Breslow, Pat Neshek, J.C. Romero, Dennys Reyes
CL- Grant Balfour
Also considered: Orlando Hudson, Willie Eyre, and Jason Tyner.
Not a bad little team there! I had to stretch a little bit; obviously for the money the Twins actually were pretty wise to move on from Santana, but at the same time it’s hard to say if his injury maladies would have been as bad as they’ve been in New York — even if the Twins and Mets both have medical teams that are much-maligned of late — and Santana was probably one of the best pitchers in team history. I think he fits.
But the primary reason I wanted to write this post today — and awake my website out of this hibernation business — is that I am wondering if Ben Revere will fit onto this list soon enough?
He sort of fits the profile as a fourth outfielder, and I think the Twins view him as such, but I think if a team is willing to give him a starting spot, the club should considering moving him.
Now that might be rooted in the idea that he may never generate enough extra-base pop to slug more than .350, and while he makes tons of contact, he still may only have a ceiling of a .290/.330/.350 triple-slash. That, combined with his usual brand of stellar defense over 600 plate appearances might result in a four-win season via FanGraphs WAR.
Now, I don’t think the Twins can get that kind of value for him in a trade, but I also don’t think they are confident in the notion that they spent a first-round pick on a career fourth outfielder. At this point, if the Twins can get value — and let’s be honest, that might even be a good late-inning reliever in terms of what the Twins sometimes value — I think they’d consider that selling high.
The problem stems from just how easy fourth outfielders are to obtain. Case in point? Clete Thomas. The Twins probably should have targeted those types in the offseason rather than using a waiver claim on Thomas — though that may still pan out — with the idea that Revere was ticketed for Rochester in the first place. Instead, he wasted a week-and-a-half with the big league club, garnering something like 11 plate appearances, and for all intents and purposes had that time wasted.
Personally, and this isn’t an overreaction to that ridiculous throw from the other night, I’d have targeted Rick Ankiel.
But I digress. If the Twins were to let Revere get away at what the market suggests is the going rate for a fourth outfielder — or even a second-team starting outfielder — I think someday soon he’ll appear on this ‘shoulda kept him’ list.