Hot Stove: Puntober Edition

If you haven\’t yet heard, the darling little spendthrifts of the Junior Circuit, your Minnesota Twins, have signed Nick Punto to a two year deal (with an option for a third). I have mixed feelings on this deal, although my overall take is a positive one. Let\’s run through a few talking points, just for fun:

Point #1: It could have been much, much worse. Seriously. Each and every Jack Wilson trade rumor that I read took a year off my life. If I only make it to 58, you\’ll know why. I\’m not at this moment being asked to be excited about the signing of Casey Blake, or Orlando Cabrera, or any other number of crappy veteran options the Twins have tended to sign (I could whip up a list, but it\’d just depress me). Instead, I\’m merely being asked to accept that the Twins have re-signed Nick Punto. I\’m ok with that.

Point #2: Nick Punto is the devil we know. I think there\’s something to this. We know who Nick Punto is, and what he can do. We know that if he can\’t cut it as the starting SS, that he can still serve a valuable role as a utility man, and we know that he will accept that role if Ron Gardenhire asks it of him. Moreover, we won\’t have unrealistic expectations that we\’ll talk ourselves into believing before Spring Training. We know what Nick Punto can do when he\’s right, and if he does that, we\’ve got a pretty solid SS. That\’s all right.

So having listed some positives, I\’d like exercise my right to complain. I know that there are still some impact players out there for the taking. I know that the Twins have payroll flexibility to spend big on one player. I want to see this happen. I\’m not locked into any particular player. Buy some Rafael Furcal, and move Punto to third base. Trade for some Brian Roberts, move Casilla to SS, and Punto to third. Back up a dump truck full of cash to Mark Teixiera\’s house to split 1B/DH with Morneau, and put Cuddyer at third base. Anything. Anything to truly build some excitement amongst the fan base, and prove that Uncle Carls pockets aren\’t sewn shut after all. Because right now I\’m actually pleased that the Twins have signed Nick Punto instead of some other old, crappy player. And that\’s fairly sad.







10 responses to “Hot Stove: Puntober Edition”

  1. wadE Avatar

    per our discussion, your make some great arguments, but the fact that you have to make arguments is damning. i’m just soooo tired of making excuses and arguments for this team’s FO. “sad” doesn’t even begin to describe this. yeah it could have been worse, but it could have been better. the same $$ gets us Affeldt… who isn’t great, but we could use the help in the pen as well (don’t *even* get me started on neshek).
    this is NOT a team that can stay put… and it’s a team that historically hasn’t spent much money, so to waste 8.5-13 million on a guy who compares to a list of nobodys (according to baseball reference)… except Pat Listach, at least I know who that is…
    see… I’m so mad I’m just incoherently rambling… bah humbug!

  2. alex Avatar

    Oh make no mistake, if this is the only offseason move the Twins make I’m going to be livid. However, as a *first* move, this strikes me as an ok one. I totally agree that year after year Twins fans get the shaft when it comes to signing talented players, and I would love for this year to be the exception to the rule. But since history tells us that we shouldn’t hold our breath, I’ll at least be happy if I don’t have to see the hype machine crank up for the likes of Casey Blake, or Juan Castro. The money certainly isn’t prohibitive, so I don’t think that should be so much of a factor… and if the front office tries to say it is, then I’ll yell about that, too.

  3. anderswa Avatar

    right with you, al– i have no problem with the punto deal, as long as it’s not the *only* deal we make. let’s do something to expand bullpen options, and let’s get a solid 2b / 3b / ss and adjust accordingly. oddly, even if we stand pat, i think i’d be happier than if we’d spent gobs of money on blake and o-cab.

  4. Nursedude Avatar

    I have a sinking feeling that this is going to be it, as far as any significant moves the Twins are going to make. Punto at least can hustle and is not afraid to do some of the little things to help you win. I think because the Twins performed so beyond anybody’s expectations in 2008, I think that management thinks that they can stand pat. I think the White Sox are in decline, but I am concerned about Cleveland going into 2009.

  5. anderswa Avatar

    somewhat baseball-related, somewhat related to the destruction of the english language. a review of jason jones, the right-handed reliever that the twins selected from the Yankees in yesterday’s Rule 5 draft:

    “He’s got a lot of pitchability and strikeability,” said Mike Radcliff, the Twins’ vice president of player personnel.

  6. wadE Avatar

    don’t we have this discussion each year?

    “as long as (Juan Castro, Rondell White, Mike Lamb) isn’t the only signing, I’ll be ok”

  7. alex Avatar

    Yep. And that’s the large majority of my argument here. This year’s ‘as long as’ isn’t nearly as old and crappy as the others… and while I think it’s ridiculous to stand pat, that’s how far the FO has lowered the bar. They’ve signed so many terrible players that standing pat looks ok. It’s not. They need to sign someone who’s good.

  8. wadE Avatar

    Any thoughts on the Wigginton rumors?

  9. alex Avatar

    Wiggy would be an ok pick up – ya know, if we’d gone out and done something spectacular like sign Furcal. Joe C thinks the offseason moves are done already. Par for the course – never make enough moves to win now – happy just to be a contender in the woe-is-me small market. *Barf*

  10. nursedude Avatar

    It seems to be Endemic in most of Minnesota Sport. The Wild refuse to make any significant deals while they are raking in the cash from sell outs at the Ex. I will at least give Mr. Wilf creidt with the Vikings, that at least he was willing to open up his wallet to make the Vikes more competitive this year. That is but a pipe dream to us Twins fans. The Wolves don’t even merit mentioning…it’s like making fun of a special-ed kid.

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