Minnesota Warms Up the Stove

The Minnesota Twins have finally given up some young pitching for decent hitting, sending Matt Garza to the Tampa Bay Rays in a six-player trade along with shortstop Jason Bartlett and bullpen prospect Eduardo Morlan for promising outfielder Delmon Young, middle infielder Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Jason Pridie.

The 22-year-old Young, who didn't miss a game in 2007, was runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year and gives the Twins a much-needed boost to the outfield and batting order in the absence of Torii Hunter. Michael Cuddyer is expected to patrol right field, so Young will most likely take over in left so Jason Kubel can destroy all my hopes and dreams by becoming the primary DH. That is, unless Craig Monroe magically becomes a power-hitter.

Kubel hit 16 bombs and 65 RBIs last season and is incredibly injury-prone. Basically, he's the last guy to strike fear into the opposition. However, new GM Bill Smith says there's work to be done to solidify center field and third base, so the Twins aren't done making moves yet.

Top prospect Garza gives the Rays a solid starter behind Scott Kazmir and James Shields. He went 5-7 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 appearances -- 15 starts -- for the Twins after he was called up mid-season.

Bartlett, 28, batted .265 with five homers, 43 RBIs and 23 steals in 510 at-bats last season, making 26 errors at short. Harris hit .286 with 12 homers, 35 doubles and 59 RBIs in 521 at-bats in his first full season as a starter, spending time at both spots up the middle, making 11 errors.

All in all, this trade fires me up and has me brimming with speculative optimism for the winter meetings next week.

[ESPN] | [Twin Cities] | [Nick and Nick's Twins Blog] | [DRays Bay] | [Crashburn Alley]


Anonymous said...

I am loving Bill Smith's style right now - he's a mover and a shaker.