which outfielder should go(go)?

wadE shared sinker\’s latest posting with us, soliciting some hot stove opinions on this (as he aptly put it) freakin\’ cold day. howard\’s question, in a nutshell, is this: if you take as a given that the twins will move an OF this offseason to secure help for the bullpen or the left side of the infield, should carlos gomez be the one to go?

i must admit that i hadn\’t even considered the thought. gomez and denard span have always been considered the outfielders to stay; the debate has been whether to trade fragile and (potentially) overpaid michael cuddyer, or mercurial and (potential) bust delmon young. gomez? the only visible asset from the johan santana trade? would twins management even consider such a move?

the answer is \”no.\” however, that doesn\’t mean that it\’s the right answer.

the crux of an argument to trade gomez centers on:

  • his assumed duplicate skillset to span\’s
  • the fact that his agent is scott boras, meaning the twins will by definition have a hard time re-signing gogo post arbitration

my opinion: i\’m not opposed to trading gomez, but this offseason is not the right time. first, gomez is still a bit of an unknown. he showed a lot of rawness last year, but also a great deal of potential. he may be the next torii hunter; he may be the next alex cole. additional time at the major league level will help determine where he will ultimately land. (granted, potential trade partners will also see his progress.) it\’s too soon to know he won\’t be great. second, it\’s too soon to tell if span will be great. although he trailed off at the end of the season, span\’s teriffic 2008 was not consistent with the numbers he put up in the minor leagues. the twins should be prudent and take additional time to see if span\’s 2008 was the exception or the rule. finally, boras\’s presence should not drive the twins\’ actions, at least not at this point. if i\’m doing the math correctly, gomez won\’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season– that\’s a lot of time before boras starts whispering in his ear about the millions he could make for the angels or yankees.

i may be in the minority with this opinion, but i don\’t think the twins should trade any of their outfielders this offseason.* start the season with DY in left, denard in center, and cuddy in right, with gogo relieving the starters as needed as well as serving as a bullet off the bench as a pinch runner. under this scenario, two things could happen. the more likely is that one of the team\’s starting outfielders will get injured during the course of the season, and we\’ll have a great backup ready to take his place. the less likely thing to happen is that we\’ve got a great asset on the bench that could serve as trade fodder in august if we\’re in the midst of a pennant chase. to me, trading gogo (or any of our other outfielders) is a no-go.

* this does not mean that i think the twins shouldn\’t make any deals this summer. if we could somehow swing a blackburn-for-kouzmanoff deal, or perkins-and-a-prospect-for-hardy trade, we\’d be a better team.







11 responses to “which outfielder should go(go)?”

  1. Nursedude Avatar

    I think if the Twins need to get rid of anybody, it should probably be Cuddeyer. He’s a good guy, but he breaks down more often than a 1980’s Jaguar. I think Young has enough potential to keep, and after watching both Span and Gomez torture the White Sox in that emotional last series at the Metrodome, I would be loath to get rid of either one of those two. Gomez can play like an idiot-savant…there are some days where his physical brilliance and derring-do are fun to watch. But sometimes he does some really bone-headed stuff.

  2. alex Avatar

    I would honestly assume that the Twins won’t trade anyone unless it’s a really good deal… and that Gomez will start the year on the bench if Span has a decent spring, and come in late innings like he did in the last two months of the season. He *could* (or perhaps should) start in the minors, but I think Gardy would lobby against it, because he likes the D. Anyway. DY/Span/Cud in the OF, Kubel at DH. I really, really think Kubel is going to have a monster year this year, by the way…

  3. wadE Avatar

    I mostly agree…
    Boras is a non-factor at this point (maybe in a few years)
    None of them should be traded this offseason unless it’s too good to be true… also none of them have shown enough to warrant any good trade offers… on the other hand, some of them may be at their peak right now for their tradeability… that isn’t saying much, is it?
    I think all 3 positions should open this spring. I’m not sold on DY whatsoever. No matter how someone is acquired, if it’s a mistake, you don’t hold onto that player just to save face.

  4. alex Avatar

    Ok, I have more to say. I keep hearing the Twins are gonna sign Casey Blake to a three year deal. To which I MUST say… really?! Casey Blake? He’s 35, never batted .300, never hit 30 home runs, and I’m supposed to be excited that we’re going to give him a 3 year deal? Seriously, WTF? Can’t the Twins just once overpay for someone who’s halfway decent? Why not Rafael Furcal? Why not back up a dumptruck full of money in front of Manny Ramirez and see what he says? At least with Delmon Young they were trading for that year’s Rookie of the Year. Why must the height of the Twins free agent wheelings and dealings be something as irrelevant as a misguided Casey Blake signing? Somebody call me when it’s June and the Twins have decided all their in-house options were yet again better than what they signed in the offseason.

  5. alex Avatar


    Twins won’t sign Type A free agent, preferring to hold on to yet another draft pick to stockpile adequate players for five years down the road.


  6. anderswa Avatar

    oh, i dunno. our forays into the type B FA market in the past haven’t worked out so well, who’s to say we’d be any smarter with a type A?

  7. alex Avatar

    Type As, as long as you don’t sign one who’s getting too old, have a track record of consistency. You can usually pencil them in for at least the low side of their career numbers (see for reference Torii’s 2008 season), and as such it’s harder to make a mistake. I’m not saying the Twins wouldn’t blow it, but at least it would be an impressive mistake. 🙂

  8. alex Avatar

    And I don’t think any of the recent signees were actual Type Bs (it’s a category). Possibly they were Type Bs at some point… heh…

  9. wadE Avatar

    … “consistency”… really Alex? for shame… for shame…

  10. alex Avatar

    To what exactly are you taking umbrage?

  11. wadE Avatar

    as I told you in person… you’re use of “consistency”, very Joe Morgan-esque… he’s ruined that word for all… just like Bill Walton ruined “terrible” and Hubie Brown ruined “upside”, or more specifically “tremendous upside”…

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